Street Performers are Not Beggars
Busking or street performing is not the same thing as "begging" people for money. Busking is an art that is performed in public for donations. Music, acting, theater, art etc. There is actually a big difference between busking and begging.
I was in Washington D.C. recently. As I left the metro station I could hear a gentleman drumming on a series of different sized buckets and various industrial items. He was busking.
Interestingly enough, despite his low budget set up, this guy was pretty amazing at drumming. I said out loud, "Man, he's really rocking it out" and this douche bag walked passed me and said "fucking beggars".
That really pissed me off.
I will usually give spare change to someone who is panhandling on the street, but I must be honest, that I find accosting people and begging them for money under most circumstances is rather annoying.
I know some people may think that is cold-hearted to say, but if you live in Baltimore for a while and you're being approached every day by people begging for money, it gets tiresome, especially when a lot of them are scam artists.
Now busking is completely different from begging. The first noticeable difference is that there is no accosting involved with busking; buskers are not verbally asking you for anything.
Buskers are performing an act and if you dig it, you drop some cash. I love street performers and I always drop a donation for someone out there doing it right.
I've witnessed a lot of amazing street performances in my day and it's an insult and a travesty to call those individuals "beggars".
Busking is work. Buskers keep people entertained and to me there's really no difference in dropping a bill in a busker's guitar case than paying money to see a concert.