The Un-Bank

This is the biggie. The flagship. But it’s not really complicated.

  1. We crowd source a lot of money.
  2. We find people who are in debt that’s giving them problems.
  3. we lend those people that money.
  4. they pay us back. At ZERO INTEREST.
  5. we put the money back into step one. (that’s the recycling part, genius eh? just like mother nature. When you’re done with something reuse it.)

Hopelessly naive eh? Yeah, we think so too. In fact there are two really big flaws in the plan. Here they are: 

  1. People might not lend us money. Especially if there’s nothing in it for them.
  2. The Other people might not pay us back.

We have this to say about that….

  1. It works for Kiva.org (check them out – they’re awesome) It works for Habitat for Humanity. (check them out too!) In fact,  it works every time parents have a child or people paint a painting, go for a hike, have dinner with friends. Getting something back isn’t the only reason people do things. Sometimes they do it just because they want to,  because it means something,  because it helps.
  2. Or they might. Listen there are two reasons people do what’s expected. 1. because they want to. 2. because they’re forced to. We think people only have to be forced to do things they don’t want to do. And they really only don’t want to do things if they are pointless, harmful, unfair or too hard. Paying back the Un-Bank is none of those things.

Now, I know, there are some people out there who will take whatever they can get without reciprocating. (mostly we think it’s because they’ve been screwed over for their entire lives and they’re trying to even the score but that doesn’t solve the potential problem of the Un-Bank running out of money.) So here’s what we do in the special case of people not paying us back:

We tell the world. Everyone. We post the dead-beat’s photo, Name, Address, Identifying details and exactly what it will take to get them back into our collective good graces. This isn’t a surprise. It’s a condition of accepting a zero interest loan extended only because of your stated need and your promise to repay us. Then, if you don’t fulfill your part of the deal we just tell the rest of the planet not to fall into the same trap, cut our losses and move on.

This is called social shaming. It’s worked for oh, billions of years. We’re not above using it. After all, if you screw over someone who is trying to help you should be ashamed. And stopped.

We think it will work.  Wanna see? We do.

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