Join me, as we take an in-depth look at the fabulous life of the homeless.
|Fact: You can make more money as a panhandling window squeegeer than as a medical biologist.
Let's look at the facts.
Bums can operate any time during a standard 24 hour day. However, due to mass amounts of time spent bathing in Popeye's restaurant sinks, collecting cans, molesting fellow homeless and shooting crank, usually a hobo's day is limited to 12 real hours of productivity time. The best hours for one to operate as a window washer would be 4 to 8pm during rush hour. However, crafting a standard 8 hour day around these 4 hours, would make the schedule for the miscreant around 2 to 10pm. This schedule affords the street urchin enough time to warm up his squeegee'n arm until 4, and 2 hours to wind down and piss himself indiscriminately until his shift ends at 10.
During this 8 hour period, the bum may encounter an average of 1 car per minute, depending on the intersection he selects. Using this basic figure as a framework, we can conclude that the piece of human garbage will deal with an average of 60 cars an hour, making a day's grand total approximately 480 cars every single day.
Now the underprivileged person's rates for window cleansing may vary, but let us just use the general price of 25 cents per wash. That is one quarter for every windshield cleaned, and when combined with the total number of cars per day, that would mean the street rat has the possibility of making a whopping $120 per day.
However, there are the variables of the fact that not every motorist will pay the stinking bum, and will simply drive off. So, in fairness, let us average the total per day down to $110.
If the bum works a standard 40 hours per week, mind you, any hours he or she or it prefers, this means a possibility of 2400 cars, and the chance of making $600 per week, at an average of $15 per hour.
Keep in mind that all of this money is tax free, under the table, and directly in the twitching vermin's fingerless gloved hands. There is no litigation. No red tape to cut through. No uniform. No set hours, and no expenses (assuming he stole the squeegee and the windex from the gas station, which, yeah he did).
If the bum continues this momentum through a regular 52 week cycle, working 40 hours of every week, that will give a total of $31,200.00 as a yearly salary. Of course, that is not including any of the 'freelance panhandling' the bum might engage in outside of various liquor stores, adult book depositories, movie theaters or bus stations. Also consider the possibility of working a popular holiday, such as the fourth of July, where the stinkbag may average 2 cars per minute, meaning he would double his daily profit. Other sources of homeless income such as: can collection, random theft, drug trafficking, and alcohol purchase for minors, could supplement the grand total, making it possible for the average homeless income to reach $40,000 per year.
On the other hand...
survey by AIBS in conjunction with the Abbot and Langer Company found that biologists with less than one year experience have a starting salary of around $33,000 per year. Data from a 2003 US Bureau of Labor Statistics report show that the field of life sciences as a whole has a mean annual salary close to $55,000. As biologists gain more experience and education in their field, those in private industry may earn salaries of over $80,000, while those working in government, academia, and the nonprofit sector earn around $60,000 to $70,000. Those with over 30 years of experience have a median salary of around $103,000. Keep in mind that salaries may vary greatly depending on geographic location, job type, and experience and education.
This sounds all well and good, but remember, you must factor in the expenses of being a biologist, and subtract them from your salary. A first year biologist will make a salary of around $33,000 per year, already less than a first year hobo. In addition to investing countless hours of study, biologists are routinely required to know answers to questions relating to math and science, and oftentimes, a career in biology will require up to seven years of college training. Whereas being a bum requires exactly no training or knowledge of any kind. Any questions lobbed towards the homeless person can be answered by an obscene gesture, a physical threat, the hurling of feces or a story about how the CIA done put a chip in your brain.
Assuming the aspiring biologist is not a spoiled snot-nosed rich kid from the Hamptons who made fun of my haircut that one time, the candidate will have most likely, received a student loan from their bank, on an average of $25,000, with an interest rate of 5%. This means that the biologist will end up paying back a total of $26,250 in loans and interest. Although this will not be paid off in the biologists first year, a substantial amount of his salary will be devoted to it, reducing him to spreading out ramen noodle packets to three meals, and paying for all of his gas in change.
Adding in other expenses, such as rent, clothing, food, gas, biology tools, glasses (probably) and of course, taxes, the average biologist will make approximately -$385 in their first year. The biologist will then become angry and distant, will probably end up striking his wife in an argument, and being left out on the streets, cold and alone. But it is there that he may begin his exciting career in window squeegeeing.