This article from Stars and Stripes discusses the creation of a generation of beggars in Iraq. Children begging for candy and money is something I've seen in Europe, South America, the Caribbean, and in parts of the U.S. It is almost a defining characteristic of the third world to see the child's upturned face and open palm. In many cases, I can usually spot the parasitic adults waiting in the shadows to take whatever haul the children bring in. I used to give out candy, but it didn't always keep well in unpredictable conditions, and honestly I worried about making bad teeth worse! Now I usually give out crayons and scrap paper. In Haiti, it was amazing to see how overjoyed a child would be to get a single crayon with a rolled piece of paper around it. I think of the hundreds of dollars of unused toys there are in my home, and how just a single crayon seemed like a windfall to a poor child. The article makes the point well that the Iraqi government has to start providing for its own to avoid the creation of a beggar state.
(Thanks for sending me this article, PAC, you knew it would be right up my alley.)