Five bucks in quarters (actually, in any domination) in 1980 has the same purchasing power as $12.85 does in 2009 (you can make your own inflation calculations here).
All else equal, shouldn't there be fewer bums begging for change now (or at least fewer bums per capita), because a cup of coins can't buy as much as it used to? Are some would-be bums now instead getting jobs?
Or are some people giving bums dollar bills now? Are more passers-by likely to part with change now because coins have such trivial value?
Are bums working harder than they did a few decades ago? Are they taking more advantage of free items, such as food from soup kitchens, instead of begging for change and buying these items themselves?
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