A bag lady is part of the flotsam and jetsam of urban life. They are generally homeless women who carry all of their personal belongings with them; perhaps in a large paper bag, sometimes in a shopping cart, or anything large enough to carry their meager belongings.

Bag ladies, like the homeless in general, tend to wear as much of their clothing at one time as is possible - less to carry. They can be seen trawling dumpsters for a choice bit of soap, or food to eat.

That the United States, the wealthiest country on earth, has tens of thousands of these people roaming our streets is a sin and a crime. Most of these people are mentally ill. Many of them qualify for assistance, but haven't the wherewithall to seek it. In the early 1980's the federal government simply opened the doors of the hospitals that cared for these people and set them "free" -- free to live in cardboard boxes and free to eat the garbage that others throw away.

I hope the few cents a day in taxes we're all saving is worth it.

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