Strong response to Emily Andrews "Why I don't Spare 'Spare Change'"

Topics: Begging, Homelessness, Beggars Pages: 2 (762 words) Published: October 9, 2013

Emily Andrews argues in her essay “Why I Don’t Spare “Spare Change”” that it does more harm than good to give money to beggars on the street rather than giving to an organization such as United Way to help the needy, pointing out that “one cannot be certain that one is giving to a needy individual” and that by giving to a charitable organization “ones money is likely to be used wisely.”

I believe Andrews has set up her essay well, her title alerting the reader of the topic, having an attention-grabbing sentence in the first paragraph starting with common phrases as “poor but honest”, and having a sense of her audience, taking account of how her readers feel about her arguments. However, I do think that she has made some problematic assumptions, lack of ethos, and not tying her arguments together to make them relevant throughout the essay. All of her arguments are completely opinionated, as she states in paragraph one and six that her statements are of “her own feeling” and “admittedly based on no evidence.” She demonstrates this in the first paragraph by first questioning the all-to common phrases “the deserving poor” and “poor but honest.” Phrases that Andrews associates when thinking about “the poor.” She also brings in the idea that perhaps people, through drug and alcoholism, have “ruined not only their own lives” but “also the lives of others” in order to “indulge in their own pleasure.” Therefore not worth being labeled as “the deserving poor.” Why did Andrews all of a sudden bring up drug and alcohol abusers while on the topic of people classified as poor? It feels that the argument is incomplete and had no intended connection between the two. She could argue that drug and alcohol abusers may make up a good portion of people classified as poor, however she does not present any sort of facts to confirm this. She states that –although admittedly without any “serious study”- she feels she can classify these drug and alcohol abusers as “the undeserving...
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