That is one way to approach it. If you only clapped once for 5 stories per month, they would each get 1 dollar (in theory.) But interacting with other writers is the best part of Medium. It’s fun. And also how you grow a following. If you only clap and comment 5 times per month you won’t get to enjoy much interaction. And a dollar isn’t that much money anyway. I suppose you could respond to stories but not clap. But that would probably be considered rude.
I clap and comment more than 5 times per day! So my claps are not worth much. So I figure why not give them 50? If you clap even one clap once per day you are clapping about 30 times per month. Then your claps are only worth 17 cents.
Unless you are only reading a handful of stories per month, restricting claps for monetary reasons doesn’t make sense.
Now if you consider claps a judging system then restricting 50 claps for the best stories makes sense. And 1 clap would be saved for a very poor quality story.
So the two systems of clapping, monetary and rating, contradict each other. And no one really knows how the Partner Program actually pays stories “based on claps and interaction.”
I don’t like having to rate stories, so I have eliminated that chore by giving 50 claps. And “reward” writer by leaving comments. Which are more valuable to me than a fraction of a penny my claps are usually worth.
Everyone has to devise their own system of clapping. Good luck. 🙂