Statutes: No Right Not to Work

What do stubborn children, fortunetellers, jugglers, gypsies, practitioners of hoomanamana (Hawaiian black magic), sleight-of-hand artists, common fiddlers and persons who paint their faces have in common? Under the varying laws of the 50 states, they are all vagrants and punishable by fines of up to $1,000 and two years in jail. Almost without exception, such charges would be laughed out of court. But vagrancy laws are so vague that they apply to a great many other people too—and when they are used, or when the police even try to put them to work, they are no laughing matter.

Vagrancy laws...

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