The chicken and potatoes lady


reddit may have some very provincial reactions …

… but they're certainly not reactions we've not seen elsewhere.

People get angry at beggars for being successful at begging, or for begging after they already gave them money, & c. What is interesting is that complainers often comment that they gave more money than they could afford to the beggar, and then the beggar kept begging. It's as though the donor didn't realise that they wouldn't get the money back, or that someone asking you to give them money may possibly have an agenda other than their stated one. It's a bit naïve.

Personally, I am keen on both giving money to the needy and not enquiring closely into their intentions once they have it. I really don't want to hear a lengthy story about how they only need $14 to get on the bus. Here, have a dollar, don't bother to tell me what plans you have for it, now go.

Karma laundering services

That's what beggars are providing. Panhandling is a form of street theater. Not all of them are homeless, and many have better job attendance than people with jobs. Hand them a quarter and feel like a human being who cares.

If you really care, give money to the places who help the people who don't have the physical or mental resources to panhandle, or the time (if they are wrangling kids and trying to hang onto their jobs while homeless). One need not hate on panhandlers, but one need not give to them, either.