DONORS WANT TO BACK A WINNER, GIVE TO BUMS WHO "APPEAR TO BE SUCCESSFUL"
WASHINGTON - A Carbolic Institute study concludes that beggars on cell phones receive considerably larger hand-outs than beggars with only a sign and a cup.
"People are far more likely to contribute to beggars who appear to be successful," said Judge Rufus Peckham, Chairman of the Carbolic Institute. "Donors want to back a winner. So when they see a bum with a cell phone -- well, they just want to hop on his bandwagon."
The study found that some beggars using cell phones run extremely lucrative operations. Adam Kidd, for one, has been a beggar for less than a year but already owns the franchise rights to 16 New York City corners, including the three busiest in Times Square.
Kidd was a lawyer fresh out of law school working for a large corporation when he found that begging pays better. He is constantly on his cell phone, checking to make sure his employees -- or, as he calls them, "my bums" -- are manning their stations. Kidd personally operates the corner at the center of Times Square, near the George M. Cohan statue, and sometimes his line of donors extends around the block -- precisely because, he says, he never stops transacting business on his cell phone while he mooches.
"I hate to be rude to people when I'm asking them to give me money," Kidd said. "But sometimes I have to ask them to wait just a minute while I tend to a call."
And that's a price people gladly pay to back a winner.