Should you Give Money to Panhandlers?
Giving Money to Panhandlers: A Question of Ethical Principles (or Tugged Emotions)
Panhandlers, beggars, the homeless, street bums… call them what you will, but lets just categorize them as ‘people in the streets asking you for your money’.
For clarification, I’d put street performers in whole different category altogether. If Spoonman shows up in my town and puts on a show, I’m throwing in a 5-spot. A street mime? Probably not. Calhoun Tubbs? Absolutely. But I digress…
Why you Shouldn’t Give Money to Panhandlers
You may have a number of reasons why you wouldn’t give a panhandler money (these aren’t personal opinions, just reasons I’ve heard from others):
- “They’ll just spend it on something they shouldn’t”
- “They probably make more money than I do” (on a side note, I have seen so many stories where this is the case – people choosing to be professional beggars and making very good tax free income at it, and many are not even homeless at all).
- “Giving them money only encourages them to not get a real job”
- “They don’t deserve my hard earned money”
- “People giving them money in the past hasn’t helped them before, why would it now?”
Why you Might Give Money to Panhandlers
On the flip-side, there’s a bit of a humanitarian in all of us, and we’ve all been down on our luck once or twice in the past. Panhandlers can pull on our emotions and a giver may argue that giving them their spare change made them feel good about themselves, even if only for a short period.
With that, I’ll throw the question out there to the readers:
- Do you give money to panhandlers? (take the poll)
- Why or why not? (leave your comment)