Due to the fact that the panhandler will just be begging as an alternative to accepting the offered $9 per hour, I feel the wage is absolutely fair. No one is forcing the panhandler to do the city beautification work and I feel a guaranteed $9 per hour is a vast improvement upon wondering how much one would collect by begging.
It is more than minimum wage in Alburquerqe, and may actually be close to a living wage in this city. One of the reasons why people are homeless is because they cannot make a living wage. It is probably a lot more than they make panhandling and could help people get out of extreme poverty.
This initiative is an excellent idea, as it will benefit the local area in which the beautification projects takes place. It is also beneficial to the panhandlers, as it gives them a stepping stone to rebuilding their lives. Once they are earning a steady income, they could then look to find a more rewarding job in the future.
Paying panhandlers $9 per hour means they are earning slightly above the current fair wage. This is paid regardless of their skills and qualifications and hopefully helps to provide them with some dignity as it stops them begging on the streets. The city improves as it becomes more attractive through the project so it seems like a win-win situation.
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