Giving to panhandlers on the street makes me feel better. That’s probably why I do it. I mean, it’s instant cash in their hands, and instant gratification for me. I stop feeling bad seeing someone living on the street because I have just handed him or her a couple of dollars. (Debt Hater’s post made me think about this issue).
But really, that dollar wouldn’t do much. In the long run, better infrastructure, more education, etc (in other words, insitutional change) can help the mentally-ill or the homeless more than a dollar here or there will.
So, does this mean that I should give to non-profit organizations, and not to the homeless on the street? I should give because it helps someone, not because it makes me feel better… right?