Why don't you give to street performers?

Image by Flickr user Perctheory

No, this isn't a lynching. It's an honest question stirred in my head by a post from Charleston City Paper blogger David Lee Nelson. Nelson wrote about two young kids doing impressive acrobatic performance, and how he did not give anything, in part:

Here was this totally unique event unfolding before my very eyes. It wasn’t asked for, it wasn’t requested. But there it was. And I ignored it. Why? because I didn’t want to give them a little money? I have 50 cents I’ll never spend in the bottom of my bag.

I find it an interesting question. Sure not giving money to some guy who seems to be out to scam you is totally understandable, but I know of at least two downtown Charleston street performers that (usually) have fairly empty coffers: The notable Richard Blakeney who performs "Organic Opera" on our streets, and a guy plays violin, usually on King or Meeting. On occasion I've thought about giving the dollar or two or 75 cents in my pocket, but I usually just don't do it. For me, I think it may have something to do with my fear of new experiences, but I could just be using that as an excuse. You?