September 19, 2011, 9:21 pm
The New York Daily News reports that squeegee men are back on the streets of New York. (H/t: Josh Petri of TPM.) Granted, the Daily News found only five of them. Granted, the squeegee men have cropped up every once in a while (here’s a NYT sighting from last year) even in a city that was supposed to have been definitely
cleansed squeegeed by Rudy Giuliani during his heroic metropolitan period. But I am wondering why there are so few squeegee men, and so orderly, and at that, so mannerly as to speak respectfully to reporters.
Last year, driving through the valley town of Gilroy, California, I was struck by the profusion of men shuffling down the streets pushing supermarket carts bearing their possessions. They moved slowly. Nothing much showed in their faces. The San Francisco Chronicle recently reports two sightings of aggressive panhandlers. Nothing new about that: Around 1994,…