Comment of the Day: “Ethics Quiz: From The Ethics Alarms Mailbag…”

panhandlerThe ethics quiz based on a reader’s off-site query regarding the ethics of giving to panhandlers when they are unlikely to use the gift wisely prompted a rich and thought-provoking thread. There were many “Comment of the Day” worthy responses, but I chose this one to represent them, in part because it is the most altruistic in spirit.

Here is my old friend Mark’s Comment of the Day on the post, Ethics Quiz: From The Ethics Alarms Mailbag…

Back in the days when street folks still asked for a quarter, I used to pass the same guy every day and always gave him $.50 ($2.50 a week). A co-worker seeing me give money to the guy mentioned that the same street person usually arrived to his “office” in a cab. I thought about it for a second and decided that my $2.50 a week – constantly available to me and replenished on a bi-weekly basis – was not enough to challenge what he did with it after it left my hands.

I am also one who will invite someone into McDonald’s with me and have them order what they like. I keep a few dollars in the car for the men and women who haunt the very large intersection near my house. My end-of-the-year charity dollars go to the local food banks.

I am no paragon (I will, however, agree to “exceptionally soft touch” or “sap”). It is simply my own personal practice to help when I can with a fair certainty that I will not – God willing – in this lifetime lack for a dollar (or someone to help me). Perhaps it’s just so much new age crapola, but I believe we get back what we put out. For this sap, it’s just that simple. I have enough trouble sussing out my own motives without trying to figure out strangers with a hard-luck story.

My $2.50 🙂

3 thoughts on “Comment of the Day: “Ethics Quiz: From The Ethics Alarms Mailbag…”

  1. I was taught a long time ago that it is always better to give money to an ethical chartity than to a street beggar. The charity can much better investigate the merits of the case than an individual. Compassion for an individual is a good thing however you really don’t know a stranger’s situation. If somebody is gravely injured or apparently unconscious of course you should call the cops or 911 for a welfare check. However, it’s too hard nowadays to determine what the “homeless person” plans to do with the dough you give them.

  2. Here’s a video about the super popular Youtuber PewDiePie:

    This guy admits he was wrong. And the PewDiePie brouhaha is an excellent example of Fake News. This time it seems the Wall Street Journal started the slander against PewDiePie and it rolled along from there. I know you can’t cover everything , Jack, but this might interest you. It’s the politics of personal destruction: Pewdie was big on Youtube and made lots of $, but he has no political power and was mostly on the anti ‘regressive left’ side of things, which made him a target. And currently our ‘news’ organizations don’t hesitate to slander common citizens, because the US’s libel laws are too easy to abuse.

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