What’s Next for Me is What’s Next for Philanthropy

January 2, 2012

I’ve been advising people about their philanthropy for over a decade. In person and through this blog I’ve always encouraged them to go beyond giving money to charity and think about all the assets they can bring to the table, and how they can especially use their power as investors and consumers to bring about the changes they want to see in the world.

Philanthropy as we have known it for the past few decades has been about giving money. But as we progress in the 21st century, I believe it will be about spending money: people are becoming more aware every day that we are shaping ourselves and the world around us by voting with our pocketbooks everyday.

The evidence is everywhere:

  • The exploding local food and “slow food” movements, rejecting the agro-industrial complex in favor of healing the economic, environmental and social health of our communities;
  • The growing fair trade movement, which provides fair wages and working conditions for workers and prevents the exploitation that often accompanies the production of cheap goods for consumption in the US;
  • The call echoing out from Occupy Wall Street for conscientious citizens to move their money from big commercial banks to local community banks, personified in the Move Your Money campaign;
  • The surveys that show that consumers want to purchase from socially responsible companies;
  • The growing voices of Millennials looking to work for socially responsible companies, or better yet, that want to start their own;
  • The expanding corps of investment advisers who specialize in “socially responsible investing” or “impact investing” a market estimated to grow to over $500 Billion in invested assets in the next 5 to 10 years;
  • The rise of services like Moxy Vote, which help you vote your values on any shareholder resolutions that come before companies whose stocks are in your investment portfolio

In addition to these trends, maybe you have heard the term “collaborative consumption,” which is being used to describe an emerging approach to people and their stuff–an approach based on borrowing, renting, sharing and accessing rather than owning outright. Early examples include Netflix for DVDs, car sharing services such as ZipCar or iGo, and more recently the peer to peer travel booking site Airbnb, and for designer gowns, Rent the Runway.

I’m so drawn to the concept of collaborative consumption, I am excited to tell you that I have launched my own social enterprise, one that applies the concept of collaborative consumption to an industry out of control: parenting.

Good Karma Clothing for Kids is a subscription baby clothing service that provides busy, socially conscious parents with like-new baby clothes in sizes newborn through 24 months so they don’t have to spend a fortune keeping up with fast growing little bodies.

We send a bundle in the size the baby is now, they wear, wash, enjoy, then send them back in the prepaid, reusable shipping bag when they need to exchange them for the next size up. We only use environmentally- and baby-friendly Selestial Soap to further reduce the environmental impact of the clothing, and we turn stained, ripped or worn out clothes into “upcycled” hand-made bibs, baby quilts or stuffed animals.

Our web site is live and we are now in our public beta. Check it out at www.goodkarma.co

Respect the Bird This Holiday Season

November 21, 2011

This week marks the beginning of the traditional holiday shopping season, starting with “Black Friday” the day after Thanksgiving. This year, Black Friday is spilling over onto Thanksgiving, with more stores open at midnight and some even opening for Black Friday on Thanksgiving night!

One Target employee, aggravated with his family day of thanks cut short, started a petition on Change.org to pressure Target (and presumably other big national chains) to allow employees to truly have a day off:

“A midnight opening robs the hourly and in-store salary workers of time off with their families on Thanksgiving Day.  By opening the doors at midnight, Target is requiring team members to be in the store by 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day. A full holiday with family is not just for the elite of this nation — all Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones and get a good night’s rest on Thanksgiving!

“Join me in calling for Target retail stores to push back their original opening time of 5am on Black Friday.”

One of the signers of the petition, Deborah Schwartz of Hoboken, NJ, gives her reasoning for adding her name:

I’m so tired of turning on the news the Monday after Black Friday and having to hear about how much money the big retailers did or didn’t make. As if that’s the point of our year-end holidays. I’m tired of Christmas being promoted BEFORE Halloween. I’m sick and tired of these attempts to brainwash us into thinking Christmas is about how much money we spend. Every American has the right to spend Thanksgiving with their families…

When using my Allrecipes.com app on my smartphone, I ran across another grassroots effort to keep Thanksgiving as a non-commercial holiday called “Respect the Bird”:

Respect the Bird supporters have a mission. They are determined to ruffle feathers as much as possible and restore Thanksgiving to its rightful place as a meaningful, respected American holiday, not one that’s merely a one-day delicious afterthought between Halloween and Christmas. Tapping into its original roots—thankfulness, a celebration of friendships, family, and gifts from the earth—Respect the Bird supporters want to create a Thanksgiving experience extending beyond meal planning. It is, after all, one of the treasured holidays that’s not about spending.

“I hope it sets a precedence that the holiday be celebrated by sharing thanks and good food with friends and family, not Black Friday shopping!” – Doug Matthews, Allrecipes.com Community Member and Leader of the Respect the Bird movement

If you would like to take the pledge to Respect the Bird, head over to the blog or like them on Facebook.

If you’re tired of the commercialization of the holidays, here are a few alternatives.

  1. Wait until Small Business Saturday. I’ve written before about the movement to support small, local businesses. By paying perhaps a little more for aspirin at a local pharmacy instead of a national chain, you leave more money in the community where you live, in the form of wages, sales tax and the community involvement that many small businesses engage in. As an extension of this effort, this year the Saturday after Thanksgiving has been designated as “Small Business Saturday.” You can find out more here, or take the pledge to Shop Small or find retailers in your zip code here.  “If millions of Americans shop small, it will be huge.”
  2. Give a Charitable Gift Certificate. A new survey from the Red Cross shows that 79% of respondents agreed that “they would rather have a charitable donation in their honor than get a gift they won’t use.” So you make the donation but let them pick the recipient. JustGive is an online web site that allows you to purchase charity gift certificates. you pick the amount and receive a ncie card to present to the recient. they go online and pick which charity they would like to receive the money. On Cyber Monday (Nov. 28th), JustGive is waiving their usual fees and the service is free. Great alternative to stocking stuffers and dust collectors.
  3. Join or Form a “Cash Mob.” Take Small Business Saturday right through the end of the year. On NPR this weekend I heard a story about a “cash mob” and was absolutely intrigued. According to this press release,”Cash mob plans to gather on specific days at 6:00 at a predetermined location and target a store in the area.  It must be locally owned, have products for both men and women and have parking.  The store must be civic minded.  Armed with at least $20 each, the “mob” will make purchases at the assigned location in a show of support for their neighborhood businesses.” What? Awesome. I’m thinking of organizing a cash mob in Mount Prospect, IL, where I live. How fun would it be to do your holiday shopping–especially the “hostess gifts, teacher gifts, people who bought you something and you need something to give them back gifts”–through this whimsical approach. Facebook seems perfect to organize this…

What other ideas do you have that are an alternative to commercial holiday celebrations? How do you keep your priorities straight during the frenzied consumer free-for-all that is December? Do share.

Thank You Mount Prospect! (A Love Letter to My Sister on Her 40th Birthday)

August 7, 2011

My big sister Sandra Pinter turns 40 in just a few short days. Since my family made the great leap of faith to move from the east coast to the Chicago area three years ago to be nearer to her and her family, she has become, as my kids would say, “my BFF.”

Our kids are little stairsteps in ages–8, 7, 6, 5–and quite the little gaggle. My brother-in-law Bill watches them all after school, and “the cousins,” as they refer to each other, fight like siblings but still run into each other’s arms after an overnight separation so that a stranger would think it had been months since they’d set eyes on each other. They have not yet tired of cooing over our littlest, baby Willa, who turns 1 next week.

My parents moved up to the neighborhood in the last 18 months as well, and having our family nearby means that we have lots of joint family dinners, afternoons together at the pool, library outings and trips to see the $1 kids’ movies on Wednesday mornings in the summer. When I talk about how wonderful the move to Chicago was, I am talking a lot about how amazing Sandra and her family have been. I can’t imagine how much poorer our life would have been without her, her husband and kids, and my parents so closely entwined in our lives over the last few years.

Last year at this time, Sandra looked ahead at the big 4-0 coming up and decided she wasn’t going to hang her head and slink into “middle age” with despair. Instead, she decided that she wanted to lose some extra weight that had crept on during those baby years, get in shape and accomplish something big–all by the time she turned 40.

I’m so proud to say that she has reached all of those goals. Sandra and Bill both have been very successful on the Weight Watchers program, which takes real commitment week after week. And this weekend, after 6 months of training, she and my mom have walked 60 miles in 3 days as part of the Susan G Komen 3-day walk. In case you are bad at math, that’s almost a full marathon every day for three days in a row. And this year, it rained. It is an unbelievable amount of hard work and dedication to prepare and then successfully execute that kind of distance. My hat is off to all the 2,400 walkers who participated, and all those who participate in other races around the country.

But I also want to say a huge “Thank You” to our adopted hometown, Mount Prospect, IL. The 2,400 walkers came through Mount Prospect starting at about 8am Saturday morning. And they could immediately tell they were in the town named by Business Week as “The Best Place in the U.S. to Raise Kids.” As soon as they passed the village boundary line, they were greeted with fresh fruit, drinks and offers to use a clean, indoor toilet with running water, the first they had seen in two days.

Along the route through town, they ran into police officers and firefighters dressed in pink cheering them on. Families and businesses really threw out the pink carpet–the golf course literally spray-painted the sidewalk pink. Some neighbors handed them pink beads to wear while they walked, others continued to offer snacks or clean, indoor bathrooms, or just cheers and encouragement. By the time they arrived where our friends and family were waiting to cheer them on at the Melas Park entrance, walkers were buoyed by the outpouring of support from Mount Prospect residents. When Sandra and my mom told us how fantastic the people of Mount Prospect had been, I felt such a rush of gratitude for everyone who helped make the experience special and fun for all of them.

We were waiting there with the whole gang out to cheer them on, having made neon pink and white signs saying “Happy Birthday Sandra!” “Great Job!” and “We’re so PROUD of Team Nip Nip Hooray!” The kids wore beads and pink outfits, and we spray-painted their hair bright pink. Some of our friends from St. Raymond were there with their own kids to cheer everyone on, and my heartfelt thanks go out to the Langes, the Ankony’s, the Sandberg’s and the Rolf’s. All those little girls spontaneously started picking flowers from the field and handing them to passing walkers, in some cases bringing them to tears with their innocent offering.

As we clapped and cheered for each walker who passed our group, many said “Thank you so much, thank you for coming out.” In the short seconds it took for those women (and men) to pass us by, I didn’t have the time or words to respond, but if I had, I would have said something like this.

Thank YOU. Thank you for committing, for working hard to accomplish something, for dedicating yourselves to something bigger. Thank you for inspiring us and for showing our daughters the depths of love between mothers and daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins and friends. You are all a living testament that this is what we do for each other. This is what we’ll do for you, if you ever need us. We’ll be there, we’ll fight for you, we’ll fight beside you. We won’t ever give up on you. And if we suffer because of your suffering, we’ll even work so that others need not suffer as we have, in honor of you. Today you are reminding us of what sisterhood is about, and I’m so proud to be your sister.

Maybe all that was communicated in our cheering and clapping and just being there. I hope at least a little of it was.

Especially I hope some of it was communicated to my sister, who I am so proud of and continue to look up to. What a gift to find a best friend right there in your own family. Someone who gets you, who knows where you came from and where you’re trying to go. Who had the same parents and same upbringing (although she’ll swear I had it so much easier) so she understands the origins of your particular brand of crazy. Who actually remembers the details of your trials and travails from one week to the next, and whose own trials you care deeply about. I am deeply grateful to have such a person in my life.

The birthday is yours, my darling sister, but the gift is mine. I love you!

Sharon

Update on the Shopping Cart Brigade

July 8, 2011

I happy to tell you that the Shopping Cart Brigade was a great success during this year’s Fourth of July parade in Mt. Prospect, IL. We collected 100 bags of food, and $200 in donations during the 2-mile parade.

A volunteer fills my cart with canned goods collected from the crowd

We had a lot of fun pushing our carts and doing our three choreographed moves following our “drum major” Pat Leniux:

Our 2nd choregraphed moved, a "follow the leader" down the two columns

Audrey was one of two sweet little girls collecting cash donations, who could resist this?

"Thanks for helping to feed the hungry"

Afterward, as my own notes to my fellow “Crazy Shopping Cart Crew” focused on the fun I had, my deacon John Lorbach brought us back to why we did this in the first place:

“And although we had lots of fun, I cannot help but picture in my mind all the young Moms who will be able to call their little ones to the table for supper, along with everyone else who will have the opportunity to  enjoy a meal, because of you.  We shall never know them but may we be forever in communion with them!”

Amen!

Deacon John Lorbach at the head of the Shopping Cart Brigade

A big thanks to Mariano’s Fresh Market for letting us use their shopping carts, to Rich and Debbie Russo for sending the pictures (see Rich to the right of Deacon John above), and especially to Jan Saillard and Pat Leniux for organizing the whole thing on behalf of St. Raymond’s and St. Mark’s. Our family is already looking forward to next year’s parade!

The Shopping Cart Brigade

June 30, 2011

This Monday during the Mt. Prospect, Illinois 4th of July parade, instead of watching from the sidelines and catching candy thrown at us by politicians and police officers, my mother, my daughter and I will be walking in the parade and collecting food from the people we pass. We are part of the St. Raymond’s/St. Mark’s “Shopping Cart Brigade.”

My mom and I will be pushing a shopping cart down the street as part of the group, and we’ll be performing simple, choreographed routines with the carts to entertain people. But we’ll also be using the carts to collect canned goods, and my daughter will be among the “runners” who grab cans and cash donations from onlookers. All the food and donations will be delivered to the Mount Prospect Food Pantry after the parade.

This fun idea looked like a great opportunity for me to do something charitable with my daughter, who is seven and loves to help. We’re all looking forward to doing something together that benefits the community.

If you’re in Mt. Prospect, please bring some canned goods and a few bucks to support our local food pantry.

And if you live anywhere else, please borrow this idea for your next hometown parade!

How to Evaluate a Charitable Organization

June 26, 2011

In 2010, I heard Bill Schambra give a keynote address at the International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy annual conference in Chicago.  Bill is the director of the Hudson Institute’s Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal, and I would classify him as conservative, ideological and anti-establishment.

Whether you agree with his politics or not, though, I thought he had some helpful guidance for going to visit organizations in person. Because great philanthropists know that you can’t get a read on whether someone is doing really fantastic work in the community just by reading a glossy report or attending a conference. You have to see them in action.

When you go visit an organization–whether as a volunteer, or a potential donor, or in some other role, here are a few things Bill suggests you look for:

1) The best leaders are busy, there is lots of activity around the organization, they are always expanding.

2) The neighborhood shows the best organizations tangible respect. There is no graffiti or vandalism on the buildings. People on the street acknowledge staff and know them.

3) In turn, the organization respects the neighborhood. The leadership lives there, they know the neighborhood well. They don’t refer to the people they work with as “clients.”

4) Beneficiaries help run the program.

5) The organization embodies stewardship without looking at the books. They use all their resources to the best of their ability, stretching them, being efficient as possible. Everything is appreciated and acknowledged.

6) There’s not a PowerPoint, but people they have saved. That is how they tell their story.

7) The funding pitch is implicit: “You’ve seen the fruits of our efforts. Now either help us, or don’t.”

8) “We’ll be doing this whether you give us money or not.” Look for those who were there before the money showed up.

9) Ask the people you are trying to help: where do you turn in times of crisis? (It’s better if you look like them when you do this, or are with someone who does.)

For other ideas on how to evaluate charities, see my previous post on this topic and feel free to share your own insights about what you look for in a great organization.

Reclaiming My 9/11 Birthday: 10th Anniversary of the Attacks is on 9/11/11

June 21, 2011

I’ve written before about how my birthday is on 9/11, a day which has come to be synonymous with an attack on our country–and the fear, terror and protectionism that attack triggered.

But as much as 9/11 brought out some of the worst in American ideology (anti-immigration, anti-Muslim sentiments and “preventive war,” among other bits of ugliness), it also brought out the best in Americans–helping neighbors, a renewed spirit of civic duty and a calling to public service.

In an effort to highlight the best of the American spirit, I believe we need to set aside 9/11 as a special day to serve our neighbors and reflect the best of our country.

Chicago Half Marathon Logo

Today I am beginning my 12-week training program to culminate in running the Chicago half-marathon on 9/11/11. While this is a meaningful goal for me personally (I currently can run only about 1.5 miles before stopping to walk a while), it’s also a community event: I’m running to benefit an organization that I am dedicated to, The Cara Program.

I hope you’ll join me. In fact, to make this more of a community event, I’ve started up a challenge using the Nike+ platform.  For every person who joins my challenge at Nike+ and completes a half-marathon on 9/11, I’ll donate $1 to charity (max $1500), split 50/50 between The Cara Program and the Chicago-based charity of a participant.

So join the effort to “Reclaim 9/11,” you can start training today and be ready to run 13 miles on 9/11, 12 weeks from now. And if you click here and join my challenge and leave a comment with the name of your charity and why you support them, you could raise up to $750 for the charity of your choice.

Spread the word to all the runners you know–you don’t have to be physically in Chicago or at the Chicago half-marathon to participate. You can run anywhere in the world as long as you upload your run to Nike+.

Or, start now to plan your own way to Reclaim 9/11. As Nike might say, “Just do SOMETHING”

(Thanks for asking! You can pledge to support my half-marathon run for the Cara Program here)

Social Innovators in Chicago find learning and fellowship

June 2, 2011

Chicago is a happening place for social innovation these days.

First, there is an impact investing summit organized by the Booth and Kellogg b-schools on June 13th. If you are interested in learning more about impact investing, this is a one-day crash course. Click here to learn more.

Second, there will be a “social entrepreneurship” track as part of the upcoming Chicago ideas Week in October. As part of that track, the Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship has just been announced:

The Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship will select and bring five dynamic young social entrepreneurs from across the country—with a focus on Midwest-based applicants—to Chicago Ideas Week (October 10-16, 2011), an annual seven-day celebration of ideas, innovation and community, with a focus on bringing the world’s best speakers together with the Midwest’s best thinkers.

The Fellowship will reward these young leaders, who have demonstrated a measurable impact in their field, with the following access and opportunities:

  • $10,000 in financial support to advance each fellows’ mission
  • Select fellows will be chosen to speak at the Social Entrepreneur session at Chicago Ideas Week alongside key influencers in the field
  • Meetings with local leaders who are committed to advancing fellows’ goals, including Mayor Richard M. Daley, Chairman of Equity Group Investments Sam Zell, Groupon Executive Chairman and Co-Founder Eric Lefkofsky, GrubHub Co-Founder and CEO Matthew Maloney, and others, will provide Fellows with unparalleled guidance and opportunities
  •  $10,000 in financial support to advance each fellows’ mission
  • VIP access to CIW and TEDxMidwest programming, speakers, dinners, and concerts
  • Exclusive media visibility from partners including Fast CompanyChicago Tribune, NBC Chicago, Crain’s Chicago Business and WBEZ

We welcome social entrepreneurs from across the globe working in for-profit or not-for-profit sectors and 35 years of age or less to apply for this unique opportunity. I ask that you please promote this opportunity amongst your network. If you have any recommendations of social entrepreneurs to receive a personal invitation to Chicago Ideas Week, please follow to: http://www.chicagoideas.com/bhsi. The application deadline is July 5, 2011.

For additional questions: info@bluhmhelfand.com

The Lesson of the Tap Taps

May 5, 2011

In January I met accomplished photographer and philanthropist Elizabeth Jordan, who takes gorgeous photographs of beautiful countries like Haiti and Rwanda, and donates the proceeds to charities working in those countries. During her time traveling with different charities, she’s learned a lot about being a foreigner in a foreign land. She tells a great story about her time in Haiti.

“Haitian Tap Taps are beautifully decorated buses whose kitsch groovy messages brighten up the streets of Port au Prince.  The urban art type graffiti screams out faith based slogans encouraging hope, peace and a brighter future.”

Do Good

Photograph by Elizabeth Jordan, http://www.ejordanphotography.com

Elizabeth had heard that plain, unpainted buses could charge one price, but these brightly decorated Tap Taps could charge more, sometimes significantly more, and the women would line up and wait for a painted bus proclaiming the glory of God even as cheaper, unpainted buses or pick-up trucks drove past them.

When she asked the women why they waited only to pay more for a ride on the painted bus, the women explained that they were much safer. Jordan says her initial reaction was shock–she couldn’t believe that the women could have such faith that religious slogans could actually protect them on the dangerous roads. Did they really think it was safer because it was painted with crosses and praise to God? Were they that superstitious?

The women soon set her straight. You see, painting a Tap Tap bus takes about $1,200, a great deal of money for a Haitian who makes $60 or so a month. As a result, the bus driver wants to protect his investment, so he drives more carefully. The women reward his safe driving by lining up and paying more, thus justifying his investment in the painting.

What does this have to do with philanthropy? Everything.

One of the unintended consequences of our success is often that we think we’re smarter or more worthy than those born into other circumstances. Subtly, a great deal of  “ignorant savage” mentality still pervades a lot of Western attempts to “help” people, especially poor families or those in other countries.  Whenever I’m about to make some assumption about intended beneficiaries of philanthropic intervention, I try to remember the lesson of the Tap Taps.

You can see more of Elizabeth’s work on her web site here.

Advice for Donors to Greg Mortenson and the Central Asia Institute

April 26, 2011

I’ve had a lot of people asking what I think about the recent allegations against Greg Mortenson about falsified stories in his best-selling books Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools, and gross mismanagement of charitable funds donated to the Central Asia Institute. What follows is purely my own opinion, but so many people have focused on whether the allegations are true or not, and I thought I would contribute some thoughts on what to DO about it.

If you haven’t followed the controversy, I’d rather not get into it here. Feel free to

In short, there are clear management challenges, at the very least.

So what’s a donor to do?

If you believe in the work being done by the Central Asia Institute, I encourage you to be patient and wait for the dust to settle. A lot more ink will be spilled before this is over and it’s hard to say what will shake out. But in any case, before donating to the Central Asia Institute again, I would want to see the following steps taken by the organization:

  1. A new CEO hired that takes over the “business” of running a $20 million/year charity while Greg pursues the mission. This is for two reasons: one, Greg has admitted that he lacks organizational skills (and even his most ardent supporters agree) and he needs someone supporting him who demonstrates those skills; and two, it shows that the board is taking these allegations seriously and that they are trying to build an organization that is larger than any one man.
  2. Additional board members appointed who can provide greater oversight and accountability. Again, this would show that the organization is taking this seriously and is dedicated to good governance. Also, the existing board members seem to lack experience in some key areas of nonprofit management. Their response so far has been defending the mission but they need to do a “mea culpa” on some of these governance and management issues if they are going to retain any credibility.
  3. Audited financials every year. A charity this large should absolutely be getting an audit every year for sure.
  4. A clear travel expense policy put into place that would govern the use of charitable funds in the field. This seems to have been handled very casually, but needs to be tightened up.
  5. A copy of the attorney’s report showing they did not engage in “excess benefit” transactions with Greg. They apparently had their attorneys investigate this issue and the attorneys found no excess benefit. Great, let us see this report. I am especially curious about this one because the charity has made statements that there was no excess benefit because CAI benefits from the speaking/book tours more than Greg does. I believe this is an inaccurate explanation of excess benefit, which does not compare the benefits accrued to the individual versus the benefits accrued to the charity, but rather compares to benefits accrued to an individual versus what is considered “reasonable.” See this explanation of excess benefit transactions especially written for non-lawyers like me.
  6. If CAI feels that Greg’s speaking appearances are a critical part of fulfilling its mission and a fantastic fundraising tool, I can understand that position (I bet a lot of organizations that raise $20 million spend $1.7 million or more in fundraising costs). However, in that case they need to adopt a new policy that all speaking fees and proceeds from events surrounding Greg and CAI are paid directly to the CAI, and Greg’s compensation comes in the form of a salary from CAI. If they need to increase his salary to be more commensurate with his value to the organization, so be it.

In conclusion, I think it’s worth pointing out that all of these suggestions merely constitute good governance. They are nothing unusual, and most charities of any significant size would already have policies and practices like this in place. To all donors, I can only reiterate that before giving to a “good cause”, you should investigate whether the program or organization in question also represents good practice.

P.S. I can’t help but wonder if some of this book tour accounting nonsense was an attempt to keep his salary artificially low as an unintended consequence of watchdog and donor insistence on low salaries at nonprofits. I can imagine supporters thinking Greg deserved to earn more for all his contributions and deciding it would be “only fair” for him to keep more proceeds from his book tour which wouldn’t raise alarms as compensation on the charity’s tax return. This organization, after all, received a 4-star rating for its financials from Charity Navigator, which speaks volumes to the limitations of ratios and, if I’m right, the perverted incentives that this rating system sets up.


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