In The Atlantic. I guess people have to give for their own reasons. Raised from birth in Wealth Bondage, many have no coherent language of value other than markets and metrics. I note that in the end the author gave to honor his mother. So there is yet hope that giving as a social gesture, within the underground economy of love, grace, and gratitude, may continue to thrive, rationalize it as we will.
To give is to express an identity. What kind of person is this? Do we judge by the surface logic, of unquestioning utilitarianism, the logic of a computer or Spock on Star Trek, or can we read the story as that of a shell cracking open, as something living within, drawn from the mother, seeks expression? Many a seed falls on infertile ground. Yet the seed may sprout, whether rooted or not. We each serve some purpose, if only to make the angels laugh.
The poorer and more miserable the beggar, the greater the marginal utility of the gift - that much I agree with. And as proof positive of my degradation and poverty, I have rags and sores. Buddy, that dollar would give me more pleasure than it would you! So fork it over, or you are trapped in a fallacy! Come on, Buddy. Your mother would be proud. Thank you, Sir. God Bless! You are a gentleman and a logician.