Is Live 8 missing the point?

In 1985 Live Aid raised money, and awareness for the poverty in Africa. Now in 2005 they are raising just awareness with Live 8 (Live on AOL Music). Thats nice and all, but I don't think that is enough.

Over 600,000 people made it to the Philly concert alone. Why not charge people $1 or $2 to get in the gate. Why not push for donations by phone?

In out post 9/11 and post Asain Tsunami world, we are far more prone to donate to a good cause. And the poverty in Africa is a cause worth donating to.

Sure it would be nice if the G8 conference held this year convinced our world leaders to help "make poverty history" but I just don't think its going to happen. I am not really a pesimist, but it simply has not happened yet. Our governments have not helped enough with the world hunger problem - yet.

People are not going to these concerts all over the world to get educated about the poverty problem in Africa, they are going for the free music by the worlds best recording artists.

Sure, its nice that they are putting these concerts on for free, but they could be raising a lot of money for Africa right now.

And lets face it, right now is a lot better then whatever Bush or Blair, etc, will be able to do in the coming months or years.

Comments (1)

And lets face it, right now is a lot better then whatever Bush or Blair, etc, will be able to do in the coming months or years.

I think Geldof did the right thing this time around. Throwing money at Africa won't solve the problem, it might even make it worse. Debt relief and changed trade laws will go a long way towards solving it.

This may sound brutal, but feeding starving people in Africa kind of makes matters worse because it lets their governments of the hook. The simple fact is that Africa has enough food to feed its prople. The problem is that the governments sell the food (mostly to first world states where it is used to feed cattle) instead of feeding their people with it. If the developed nations then jump in and feed those starving people, there will never be an incentive for their government to change their behaviour.

That's one point. Another point is that it's hard for them to change. The problem is that they owe us tons of money. They need to sell their food just to pay our interest, but at the same time, they can't get into our markets in a big way because of our laws protecting our own agriculture. They often can't sell their food as human food (more money), so they're forced to sell it as animal food. In the end, they have to sell their food cheaply and give the money back to us to pay interest. Their people have no food, and their governments have no money.

If live8 turns out to be a success (i.e. the G8 will drop the debt and make the trade laws fair), the states in Africa get a chance to help themselves.

They can keep the food they need themselves because they don't have to pay interest anymore. They can start selling the food which they don't need into our human food market, making more money. They can then invest this money to help their own economy.

That's why Live8 is a good idea, but giving money now might be a bad idea, even though it could save a few lives in the short term. Long term, it makes matters worse.

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