Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Helpcard - credit aid

A credit card you give to the needy, keeping in touch with them
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Instead of throwing a dime in his violin bag, give him a Helpcard with 10 dollars in it. With it he can get in touch with you when you both have time, discuss how he wants to get out of the rut, and then fund it through that helpcard.

You or together with your friends become the person's financial adviser at least on the money that's in this card. He gets a job, pulls himself out of the rut, and thanks you profoundly.

Could be given out by an organization that gives professional assistance, sponsored by simple people like us.

pashute, Jan 15 2015


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       You with the bag - I'll buy that helpcard there for $5 cash. There's some folks I know in West Africa that would like to be able to get in touch with simple people.
bungston, Jan 15 2015
  

       I know a Nigerian prince whose fallen on hard times. I'll get one for him, that girl who desperately needs to travel to her dying father, and the oil tycoon who needs access to the family fortune.   

       In other words, how will you be sure this will be less subjected to abuse than other methods of donating to the poor?
Voice, Jan 16 2015
  

       — Voice   

       Everything is subjected to abuse. Everything can be hacked (as noted by computer security). The only winning move is to disconnect.   

       I imagine this system would allow for giving those in a rut the flexibility of choosing the best way to get out of the rut. Micromanagement is too much hassle, and zero accountability is unacceptable. This probably strikes a balance, and emulates the concept of "basic income scheme" to a certain extent.   

       (Especially if it allows those to get emergency funds as needed. E.g. If the car is dead, but he needs to get to work, then he will need emergency funds to avoid losing his job) { Everything cost more if you are poor pretty much, so having some flexibility to choose the cheapest option (bulk purchase) could help }
mofosyne, Jan 18 2015
  

       //zero accountability is unacceptable// zero accountability is _always_ acceptable.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 18 2015
  

       You decide who you give it to. Or you and your friends. It could be given to the cleaning lady, or the street cleaner, or that guy that plays music in the underground pass between the central bus station and the main street.   

       She cannot pass it on to anybody, and in any case its not a way to get rich off you, its a way for them to get standing back on their own feet, with THEIR HARD WORK.   

       And I wish to thank those who gave me credit here! Thanks!! Its really a good feeling to know that some people appreciate this idea.
pashute, Jan 18 2015
  

       Some people will give credit for anything.   

       I'm the fishbone.   

       Not because I don't think charity is a good idea - I donate some of my time and resources to one - but I don't see a coherent idea here.   

       What's the difference between giving him a card with $10 on it and your contact information, and giving him your contact information and 10 bucks ? Apart from the overhead of producing the card, of course.   

       The idea of having an agency that sells debit cards to the public, to give to people, the difference being that they get a tax credit, if that's the idea, is a decent one except what's to stop the person from buying the card, getting the tax receipt, then going to the grocery store themselves for weekly supplies ?   

       Alternatively, and existing, you give money to a charity, get your receipt, and they take care of doling it out to the needy.   

       In fact, don't quote me, but the one I work with, you could probably donate money, get the tax credit, _and_ specify who the money goes to (pending verification of need of course).
FlyingToaster, Jan 18 2015
  

       I imagine its more for people who want to provides a periodic donation to a particular person, with the idea that the person receiving the fund is able to think just a few days ahead (rather than the next day).   

       Also cash is not as secure as a card, in the sense that often these people do not have easy access to a bank account. And thus cannot safely store their funds to plan ahead for the future, and thus could only think in day to day terms.   

       Basically I think it's meant to remove the overhead of trying to survive, and allow those receiving a continuous stream of funds (people are bad with lump sums... cue lottery winners). And let them devote more of there mental energy to rebuilding their foundation of self sustainability... like getting a stable job.   

       -----   

       TL;DR: It's probably (in the selfish sense at worse) for those who are sick of seeing the same beggar on the corner everyday.
mofosyne, Jan 18 2015
  


 

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