Should People Give Money to Beggars?

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Essay for Business Spotlight #5, September/October 2009, p. 22 - 23.

Subjects of the article are the aspects of giving money to people living on the street. The author divides the article in two points of view and brings them together in the end. On on side, giving money to beggars is a good thing. It gives them what they need to provide themselves with food. It also means that you recognize that they have a problem, so it’s also a sense of dignity. The prior difficulty of helping these people out with money is that you can never know where they put it, what they do with it. A lot of homeless people are drug addicts, so they probably spend most of what they get in alcohol and other drugs.

An alternative to giving money to beggars - but still helping them - is described in the article: Helping homeless organizations. But can you really trust in charity to spend the money well and effective? How much of it is covering their administrative costs? The other side of the article covers the „contra“ of giving money to beggars. „If you give money to a beggar, you help him or her stay a beggar“ (Debi Starnes). Debi describes the situation in her home town Atlanta. She says most of them were hustlers and don’t really need the money. They would work and take a job if the streets were no alternative. Even if this is a strong argument, i doubt that this is entirely true. I believe that the reasons for people to become homeless are quite individual and not everybody has a choice. In my opinion, Debi missed the point here. The article gives some good ideas to thing about, but generally i think the article misses a clear statement. The opinion of the author is not clearly stated, which i think he should.
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