Are you more likely to give money to a person performing on the street than a visibly needy person? In other words, do you think that if they are trying to work for money, they deserve it more? What about people selling little useless knick-knacks?
I'd rather give money to performers because I am getting for free what I might have to pay for otherwise in a concert or comedy club, so I feel they have earned it. I'd be more inclined to give food or something like that to a needy person. As for knick-knacks, I don't really know what to think of those, it just pisses me off a little bit that the guy selling Magic Mice makes more money in 20 minutes than I made in an hour at my job. But then I still feel bad for him.