All through civilized history, there have been populations of poverty stricken people who have resorted to begging as a means of survival. During the Great Depression, America faced the highest percentage of unemployed citizens in US history. They became part of the 'nameless masses' that lived on the streets, stood in the soup lines, and begged for spare change. Their plight was humanized slightly by a song made popular by Bing Cosby and Rudy Vallee. Written by "Yip" Harburg and Jay Gorney, 'Brother Can You Spare a Dime?' (aka 'Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?') is still a popular expression today.