Oh, it's a terrible time when we can't bend over to please a rock star. After all, where are our priorities?
That's really what's pissing people off, isn't it? That a rock star happens to using his fame to push for something. The thing is that Bono is better versed in this stuff than most, possibly all, of the current world leaders. That's why he was invited to the G-8 and why he's had the ear of so many politicians for so long.
This is not the same as Keith Richards lending his name and face to Amnesty International. This isn't even the same as the original Live Aid concerts. At some point people should listen to exactly what is being said instead of the 30 second sound-bites on the TV.
Any time a celebrity demands the cause du jour, we need to react immediately.
It is not just a celebrity cause du jour. Bono has been working on this, an encouraging other celebrities to help him, for a very long time. He is the most famous of a group of people who have been fighting for this since before the western nations would even admit, at least in public, that there was a debt crisis in the developing world and that we were instrumental in causing it.
Pearson died in 1972. Maybe what was a good idea when he was in charge (when our schools had teachers and our hospitals had doctors) is no longer a good idea. I don't think we can afford it and it is inappropriate for a rock star to demand it.
It was a good idea then, and it is a good idea now. If we would have contributed that much then, and done it in a way wasn't both short-sighted and self-serving, we likely wouldn't have to do it now.
We have been down this Pearson path for how long now? And we still have all the problems....now we have one more problem, we bicker and fight over it. So far we have (so it would seem) solved nothing. It's time for new ideas in Canada.
We've never been down the Pearson path, Jay. We have taken a cynical route that has caused problems instead of solving them. Now the bill is higher.
Especially with Africa's biggest problem being their corrupt politicians and officials. Until that problem is solved, no amount of money is going to help anything, except make the corrupt individuals much much richer.
Who was paying the bribes to those corrupt politicians? Who was lending them money when it was clear that the money was not going to help the people? Who was propping them up with military aid and "advisors".
The corruption is at least as much our fault as it is Africa's.
You might wasnt to check out the concept of odioyus debt. (external - login to view)
Rev, perhaps I don't understand the full implications of foreign aid ... but I do understand what it's like to trip over street people every time I go shopping, to lose a brother to herion addiction and a nephew to an inept system. I tend to personalize things, which makes me bad at politics but good at my own life.
And all those things deserve money as well. If we cancelled all foreign aid tomorrow, the money wouldn't go to any of those things though. It would go to tax cuts for corporations. They used to carry half the tax burden, now they carry less than a quarter...that's if they don't refuse to pay at all.
Many of those same corporations have profitted massively through contracts (by our governments, paid with our aid money) in the developing world, btw. Back to wondering who it is that's corrupt.
The money could be well spent right here at home. Until the basic problems of many countries change, throwing money at it can never help.
It isn't just throwing money though. If you guys were really listening to what Bono has been saying for the last decade or so, you'd know that the money is just a part of it.
There is debt relief. That's a major step in getting these countries back on their feet and able to pay for their own programs. Most of this debt shouldn't have been loaned in the first place, so they don't have to pay it back anyway.
There is targetted aid. We have put requirements on the aid that we send, such as forcing developing nations to grow GM crops or have completely open trade policies (which no developed country has), or to support "us" instead of "them" in whatever geo-political mess we've started this time. It has massively screwed these countries up.
There is democracy. The developed world, mostly members of the G-8, haver a long and ugly record of installing governments in the developing world. You complain about corrupt dictators? Well maybe we shouldn't have helped pay to put them in office.
There is trade. We protect our markets while insisting that theirs be fully open. Now we are forcing them to buy terminator seeds so they can't even save seeds from one year to another. They have to buy them from us.
This **** goes all the way back to the slave trade. It weaves through colonialism, into neo-colonialism, and right up into the modern imperialism of globalisation. When you want to know how the developing world got to be such a mess, just go look in the mirror. It was us. And it's a large part of why we are rich.