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Thread: Ethics - Street begging

  1. #1
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Ethics - Street begging

    I've had this ethical dilemma for quite a long time, particularly due to the fact that I often give out and because in my native country street beggars abound everywhere.

    Basically - do you give out? Why? Why don't you?

    And how do you deal when you know that street begging is financing criminal activity? Do you still give out?

    The last part is what stands out, particularly here. You do now know whether it's actually helping the person, whether it helps the local gang or whether you should have done something instead like calling social services. It's very difficult over here as I said due to the sheer number of beggars, most of them professionals.

    But how do you proceed?
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    Mr Self Important Senior Member Beskar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics - Street begging

    I give and have worked for homelessness charities. If someone comes up to me begging, I direct them to those services. As I volunteered hours there, I know what services are provided including food parcels for low income and not homeless people. So if they get dismissed out of hand from said beggar, then I also know they are not genuine trying to improve their situation.

    It is pretty much the only way to ensure people in real difficulties have access to the support to help themselves.
    Last edited by Beskar; 12-01-2017 at 22:13.
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  3. #3
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics - Street begging

    Begging is illegal here, I usually give street-performers some cash, always buy the woman in front of the supermarket a cola

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    Member Member Crandar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics - Street begging

    To be honest, almost no beggar looks genuine to me. Most of them are working for gangs composed mainly of Bulgarian Roma.

    I offered to the only one who seemed sincere a cheese pie. His reply was that he preferred yellow cheese pie.

    The moral of the story is to not trust anybody and if someone looks in need, then offer him food. He may need it desperately and even if he doesn't, you at least didn't finance the activities of a gang. I have offered ice-creams to children begging, and they seemed really grateful for it.

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    Default Re: Ethics - Street begging

    Quote Originally Posted by Crandar View Post
    To be honest, almost no beggar looks genuine to me. Most of them are working for gangs composed mainly of Bulgarian Roma.

    I offered to the only one who seemed sincere a cheese pie. His reply was that he preferred yellow cheese pie.

    The moral of the story is to not trust anybody and if someone looks in need, then offer him food. He may need it desperately and even if he doesn't, you at least didn't finance the activities of a gang. I have offered ice-creams to children begging, and they seemed really grateful for it.
    I think there must be very different considerations between begging in America and in Europe, but if you see someone begging in the streets (in America) they are infrequently con artists (operating alone), but overwhelmingly people with severe mental or physical impairments and illnesses.

    Beskar's approach is the best one for the average citizen, but it requires one to be familiar with local groups, organizations, and government agencies that provide services and information to these populations.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 12-01-2017 at 23:54.
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    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics - Street begging

    I occasionally give change but that's usually when I'm traveling. Here in Hawaii I don't give to any beggars. There's plenty of work where I live, especially unskilled agricultural work (like in my industry of coffee) so I don't really have too much pity. I know a few people that have said something to the effect of "hey man, if you need work I'll pay you to pick coffee at my place and you can stay in the Ohana (extra cottage/room) for the season" and they are almost always turned down because that's less money an hour essentially than they make begging. Especially since a lot of these are 'professional' homeless that have been given a ticket from somebody in a mainland city to go to Hawaii and live there because it's so nice year round.
    There's been a huge issue about this in Hawaii because there are a lot of homeless relative to the size and population of the state. Some are mentality unstable and the support network can't handle them, some are homeless because rent and the cost of living in Hawaii is extreme, and some are addicted to alcohol or drugs and cannot get off no matter how long they stay clean when taken off the streets.

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics - Street begging

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony View Post
    always buy the woman in front of the supermarket a cola
    I see you're trying to kill her (unless it's the one without sugar).


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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics - Street begging

    I suppose buskers count as this, right? Sometimes I give to them if they are really good. Never give to normal beggars.

    When I was in London Overground there was this really good band which was busking and I decided to give them half a pound because I genuinely enjoyed their performance.

    About a minute later the train driver/conductor came on the speakers telling us that we shouldnt give to the buskers and that people like them were ruining the British benefits system. Felt weird knowing I had just contributed to the downfall of the British welfare state.
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    Default Re: Ethics - Street begging

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    I suppose buskers count as this, right? Sometimes I give to them if they are really good. Never give to normal beggars.

    When I was in London Overground there was this really good band which was busking and I decided to give them half a pound because I genuinely enjoyed their performance.

    About a minute later the train driver/conductor came on the speakers telling us that we shouldnt give to the buskers and that people like them were ruining the British benefits system. Felt weird knowing I had just contributed to the downfall of the British welfare state.
    Ladies and gentlemen, soliciting money in the subway is illegal. We ask you not to give. Please help us to maintain an orderly subway.”

    Like that? Yeah, don't give money to panhandlers traversing the metro cars.

    On a nearly empty F train car hours after the morning rush, a handful of people were scattered throughout, immersed in magazines, iPods or their own thoughts when a sad song filled the train car. The singer, a stout woman with beads of sweat running down her forehead held a small piece of white cardboard that read: “I — have 3 kids. I — don’t have work. Please help.”

    “This song is for my family,” explained Aphrodita Chiciou, a Romanian immigrant with a deep, raspy voice. “For pay the bills, electricity I pay everything.” Chiciou is one of among hundreds of panhandlers and peddlers that rely on generous straphangers to get by. She said she makes between $50 and $60 a day.
    I think I've seen this one over the years many times, though I don't recall her singing.
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics - Street begging

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Ladies and gentlemen, soliciting money in the subway is illegal. We ask you not to give. Please help us to maintain an orderly subway.”

    Like that? Yeah, don't give money to panhandlers traversing the metro cars.
    Well like that but add in a rant how they are ruining the NHS and whatnot. Maybe its something about visiting a foreign country, but buskers seem to be more acceptable, like the busker who played guitar beautifully in front of the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp. Gave that guy 2 euros because he was just so good.
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  11. #11
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics - Street begging

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    Well like that but add in a rant how they are ruining the NHS and whatnot. Maybe its something about visiting a foreign country, but buskers seem to be more acceptable, like the busker who played guitar beautifully in front of the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp. Gave that guy 2 euros because he was just so good.
    A busker is providing entertainment and must show skill. Beggars play on pity. While they may be quite skilled, the skill is not being used for your benefit (save to the extent that handing over your cash makes you feel better about yourself).
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  12. #12
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics - Street begging

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    I suppose buskers count as this, right? Sometimes I give to them if they are really good. Never give to normal beggars.

    When I was in London Overground there was this really good band which was busking and I decided to give them half a pound because I genuinely enjoyed their performance.

    About a minute later the train driver/conductor came on the speakers telling us that we shouldnt give to the buskers and that people like them were ruining the British benefits system. Felt weird knowing I had just contributed to the downfall of the British welfare state.
    AFAIK performers are encouraged by the London authorities, especially if they're well set up as a band would obviously be, and certainly if they're within defined busking areas. I'd say the train driver was overstepping their remit, especially if they went on with the rant you talk about.

    One of the best guitarists I've ever heard was in Mornington Crescent station, outside defined busking zones, playing no specific song on an acoustic guitar, just jamming. I listened for several minutes and gave him 2 pounds. He ignored me, which to me was proper acknowledgement of his ability and my place: a spectator should listen and show appreciation, not interrupt the artist in the act of creation.

  13. #13
    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ethics - Street begging

    Street-permormace is heavily regulated here, can't say I like that. These train-perfonces you sometimes see in London or Paris are kinda shakedowns though, people give money just to be done with it, they are intimidating travelers, you don't want a shaking hat up slose under your nose if you just want to go somewhere. It can also be really awesome though
    Last edited by Fragony; 12-03-2017 at 16:31.

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