[Question] Should effective altruists give money to local beggars?

I cur­rently do not. My cur­rent thought is that I have no idea where the money is go­ing, and if the per­son is ac­tu­ally poor (for ex­am­ple, I live in Oak­land and there are a bunch of Ro­mani women walk­ing around our trains with sleep­ing ba­bies, ag­gres­sively pan­han­dling, who ac­tu­ally live fairly good, mid­dle-class lives in a lo­cal sub­urb).

While most beg­gars are prob­a­bly very poor, there are beg­gars in less af­fluent coun­tries who are prob­a­bly worse off.

On the flip side of that, maybe the beg­gars in less af­fluent coun­tries are hap­pier, be­cause hap­piness stems more from com­par­i­son with those around you than ac­tual means?

I also feel like giv­ing money might fur­ther en­courage beg­ging, which is un­de­sir­able so­cial be­hav­ior.

On the flip side, beg­gars be­ing around might en­courage more peo­ple to think about char­ity in gen­eral.

But on the flip side of that, if peo­ple give them money, they might give less money to effec­tive char­i­ties be­cause of moral li­cens­ing.

TELL ME HOW TO FEEL, OH GREAT WIZARDS OF EA.

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