"Minneapolis in trouble? Then bash the beggars" by Nick Coleman
Coleman writes of the targetting of panhandlers as a distraction from bigger issues, as a shift to an easy target. He also looks at "upscale kinds of begging" that we do allow.
I would like to note that I try very hard to stay out of political discussions in the blogosphere. However, I will often write about social issues, occasionally about religious issues, and I do address ethical and moral issues. I'm commenting on treatment of beggars because I see it as a moral issue, not because in this case it is a political issue, too. When I use a blog to condemn war, it is because I am an ethical pacifist, not because I am trying to be an anti-war partisan. I used to write at a blog where I would talk about the evils of war and torture, not because I wish to be political, but because I see war and torture and moral evils to be condemned (if you want another case of hypocrisy, I don't understand how anybody worshiping a lord that was wrongfully tortured and executed could possibly argue in favor of torture in any circumstances).