Stock options for the poor?

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The Brazilian Catholic church has apparently decided the best way to reach rich people is to talk to them in terms they understand. Instead of asking the well-to-do to give to the poor, it’s asking them to invest in them.

According to ADBUSTERS, the church is offering stock in its Banco da Providencia (Bank of Providence), which funds programs for orphans, alcoholics, and ex-convicts in Rio. Shareholders will receive “social dividends”, which are reports telling them in detail about the good works they’re helping to support.

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So if “investors” give money and get nothing in return but a nice warm glow, how is it different from a donation? It’s not, really — the church simply hopes the unique packaging will reach a different kind of donor. And, since this is the finance world it’s hitting up here, as opposed to the usual little old ladies, they’re aiming for more than small change — the church is putting $604 million worth of stock up for sale.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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