This is sure going to make him hated by the left

Bono sure pissed off the leftist intelligentsia a while back when he pointed out Boosh did more for AIDS than all the talking heads on the left that pretend to care oh, so much, about the gay community. Then he doubled down by saying Boosh did more for Africa in general than all those leftists organizations . Now he is sure to make himself Persona Non Grata with the left by pointing out what is obvious to all of us non leftists: “Capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid”. From the article;

Just recently drawing upon his Christian faith (and possibly the economics influence of Professor Ayittey?), in a speech at Georgetown University, Bono altered his economic and political views and declared that only capitalism can end poverty.

I guess people can learn, and with age, oft comes wisdom. Bono seems to be one of the few wising up rather than staying in the shallow end of the pool where most of the entertainer types like to remain when it comes to politics and logic. My bet is that Bono just got himself disinvited from a lot of leftist circle jerks by speaking the truth and challenging their dogma. The fact is that handouts never have and never will solve poverty. Oh, it might give the illusion that it helps, and in some rare instances it might be helpful in the immediate sense, but the dependency it creates will sooner than later turn into a big self-perpetuating curse. The data out there is incontrovertible; the handout society just keeps growing and growing, and they demand more and more. But all the pearls being thrown to the swines has not solved poverty. In fact, it looks like it has just perpetuated it and grown the ranks of the poor.

Your average leftist responded to these revelations with the usual drivel about the evils of profit and how government should be the only entity that gets to choose who wins and who loses, because letting hard work and natural talent detemrine that is unfair to them all. That, and how they now hate Bono, as they frantically work to delete any U2 tunes from their mp3 players. Death to those that grow up, realize the real world doesn’t work like the unicorn fart sniffers want to pretend it does, and leave the marxist plantation!

  1. What next? Perhaps he’ll point how on the “war on poverty” actually INCREASED levels of poverty in the country….

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  2. There is a specific and very important difference between feeding people on the brink of starvation, and providing development assistance. Since when was Bono ever against, or not advocating, development assistance? The Data/One Campaign has always been largely about “sustaining or increasing resources for development”. The days of just throwing money at the problem are long gone. I think you’ll struggle to find anyone on the left that still has that mindset. Well, anyone that isn’t batshit crazy.

    It will be nice when the West does away with the anti-capitalist subsidies (especially in agriculture) which significantly hold back the ability of farmers in these developing countries to compete. Unfortunately I can’t see that happening in the forseeable future, so we’ll still face that chronic hypocrisy.

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  3. It will be nice when the West does away with the anti-capitalist subsidies (especially in agriculture) which significantly hold back the ability of farmers in these developing countries to compete. Unfortunately I can’t see that happening in the forseeable future, so we’ll still face that chronic hypocrisy.

    Zimbabwe was once called the “bread basket of Africa” and they did it without anti-capitalist subsidies (especially in agriculture). But then Robert Mugabe changed all that with the ultimate subsidies—– Crony Capitalism.

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  4. Famines are not caused by a lack of food. Famines are caused by bad government.

    It will be nice when the West does away with the anti-capitalist subsidies (especially in agriculture) which significantly hold back the ability of farmers in these developing countries to compete. Unfortunately I can’t see that happening in the forseeable future, so we’ll still face that chronic hypocrisy.

    Thumbs up for this, CM. I’ll add that there are times when food aid significantly harms the recipient nation’s farmers. Why plant and toil to produce grain when the UN is handing out sacks of it for free. Who is going to buy your grain then? So much aid is tied to only buying food produced from the country donating the money. This fucks things up further. The first thing aid agencies should change is to make local farmers the first place they should go to buy stuff. Give them seed and fertilizer and come back later to buy all they produce.

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  5. Famines are not caused by a lack of food. Famines are caused by bad government.

    This is very true. The Soviet Union deliberately starved people. Ireland’s potato famine was horrible because they were being forced to export grain while people were starving. When Ethiopia and Somalia were in the news, it was because of horrible civil wars and deliberate mass starvation.

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  6. Famines are not caused by a lack of food. Famines are caused by bad government.

    I’ll add my support to that comment as well. Much of Africa is still fucked up because of generation after generation of inept and corrupt government. Overall it IS going in the right direction though, which is great. IMO the keys are improving the health and education of the population and facilitating opportunities for people to get ahead. Capitalism is vital.

    I’ll add that there are times when food aid significantly harms the recipient nation’s farmers. Why plant and toil to produce grain when the UN is handing out sacks of it for free. Who is going to buy your grain then? So much aid is tied to only buying food produced from the country donating the money. This fucks things up further. The first thing aid agencies should change is to make local farmers the first place they should go to buy stuff. Give them seed and fertilizer and come back later to buy all they produce.

    Totally agree. So long as they’re not forced to buy GM seed and are then in effect by that particular multinational until they die.

    So where exactly are all these incensed libtards? What do they actually argue?

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  7. Famines are not caused by a lack of food. Famines are caused by bad government.

    Generally speaking, I would also agree with that. But I would add that disfunctional and corrupt governments usually go hand in hand with unethical and exploitative business behavior.

    the handout society just keeps growing and growing, and they demand more and more.

    Really? Speaking from an actual country where these kinds of programs are going on, I can tell you that just about everybody here works hard to ensure that programs are designed to increase capacity, not dependency. They also recognize a distinction between short term humanitarian aid (emergencies, conflict, after disasters, internal and external displacement, crop failures etc.) and development aid (long term capacity building).

    Where you get the idea that handouts are growing and growing, I do not know.

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  8. There was a guy at Moorewatch Forums who did the same thing – arguing like it was still 1983. Almost everyone had moved on except him. And Alex too obviously.

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  9. Famines are not caused by a lack of food. Famines are caused by bad government.

    This has been bugging me all day. It’s not that it’s wrong – it’s more that it’s inadequate.

    Apply this to, for example, the case of trafficked children working as forced laborers in Ivory Coast or a similar West African country that has cacao production. Is bad government responsible for their predicament (too weak and corrupt to act, taxation so low that they can’t afford to pay law enforcement workers a living wage), the traffickers (paying off the right people), the estates (utilizing forced labor because they can’t afford to pay actual salaries on the prices they get for the cocoa beans), the police (receiving bribes to look the other way), or the chocolate buyers (who cares, so long as the price is as low as we can make it?). And then of course, the kids grow up sick (from lack of healthcare, poor diet) and with no education (because they weren’t ever allowed to attend school). So some of them figure it is easier to run off to the hills and start an armed insurrection than it is to keep slashing open cacao pods for no money at all.

    Now this might not result in famine, but certainly malnutrition, more corruption, and a new generation of political instability. And then perhaps famine. You don’t have to apply this to cacao – diamonds, rare metals, even fruit will do.

    But no, we just get “bad government” as the only reason for everything. Because we all have to follow the mantra that all government is bad. You need to look at the whole system and the role that markets play in either improving or worsening it. And they can do both. The same goes for governments.

    How about this example? After the terrible role that diamonds played in promoting and funding conflicts became widely known, some diamond companies and the international community working with the UN managed to agree on the Kimberley Process*, to limit sales of diamonds produced by armed gangs and rebel armies through an international certification program. And what happened? Governments like Sierra Leone were suddenly selling diamonds (sales went from 0$ to $124,000,000 overnight). And now they have actual funds that they can spend on education, health, and law enforcement – stronger governments. Who’d have thought? Markets and governments working together for poverty reduction and conflict cessation.

    * Sorry Alex, I know you don’t actually approve of any form of international governance (and the Kimberley Agreement is just that), but I think the example was still relevant.

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  10. I’ll add my support to that comment as well. Much of Africa is still fucked up because of generation after generation of inept and corrupt government.

    CM, this is not limited to Africa. Africa stands out because of the extreme to which the stupid goes there and the toll on human life it takes. But the fact is that corrupt government and tribalism are prevalent across the globe. You name it, they have it to one degree or another. Some countries mask it better than others. In the ME oil and the wealth it creates has allowed them to mask the fact their culture is so broken and stupid that it is near genocidal, for example. In the west we have had governments learn that hungry and angry people are going to be less productive and prone to violence, and through technology, they have managed to mask most of the deficiencies we have, but they are there (subsidies, price protections, monopolies, using food for other purposes than food). We should not delude ourselves: we have been lucky that our governments, corrupt, inefficient, and destructive as they are, could not overcome the efforts of the few and capable that have propped us up and kept food growing and moving to our tables. That can turn around in a flash if the “right people” decide they need to control everything from the top and start letting ideology and ideological purity tests define what’s allowed like they did in the USSR.

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  11. There was a guy at Moorewatch Forums who did the same thing – arguing like it was still 1983. Almost everyone had moved on except him. And Alex too obviously.

    I guess the LSM, which has all but ignored this and has been ignoring Bono since he told them Boosh had done more good than all the other nonsense leftist agencies they pretend are the only way to go, as well as most of the politicians on the left that keep pushing these same handout polices, must also be trapped in 1983, huh CM?

    People like you will give these revelations lip service until it it comes time to gore your bull. Then you will object to it being done. If this shit doesn’t work in Africa where the bar is so low anything can be a success, why would it work any different in the west?

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  12. Anything at all that happens in the world of diamonds is exactly what DeBeers wants to happen.

    And controlled by Valerie Jarrett.

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  13. Boosh had done more good than all the other nonsense leftist agencies they pretend are the only way to go

    So Bush did this by going against the drug companies, who would have preferred a market based solution involving them receiving much higher prices for their drugs, regardless of how many poor people died as a result. This would mean that it was… er… not a free market solution, but a big government one. And an international governance one at that.

    I don’t get it – do you support this or not? And isn’t this just giving them stuff? It would seem to go against your oft declared principles, and the ones you are touting in this very post?

    Mostly, I have supported Bono’s work. It’s far from perfect (nobody’s is), but he is generally doing more good than bad, and he is willing to learn from his mistakes. The HIV medication solution wasn’t 100% great though. It pulled a lot of medical staff out of other key health sector jobs by offering higher salaries, meaning that at least some of the people who didn’t die from HIV died instead from other easily preventable diseases. But it did show that the somewhat racist assumption (argued fervently by the drug companies) that only people in first world countries were capable of treatment compliance was a load of bull.

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  14. This has been bugging me all day. It’s not that it’s wrong – it’s more that it’s inadequate.

    I wasn’t shooting for a grand theory of governance that covered all the world’s problems. I was shooting for a pithy explanation of why mass starvation happens in the modern world. This why I wrote what I wrote instead of something like “All the world’s problems are caused by bad government.”

    You then go on to try to apply my little theory (not really mine of course) to a situation that is caused by bad government and isn’t a famine.

    You then say

    Now this might not result in famine, but certainly malnutrition, more corruption, and a new generation of political instability. And then perhaps famine. You don’t have to apply this to cacao – diamonds, rare metals, even fruit will do.

    But no, we just get “bad government” as the only reason for everything.

    So first you admit that your example is not an example of what I was talking about. You then write something that says something I didn’t say. Again, I said that bad government is the cause of famine. I didn’t say that bad government caused the slave trade or poor wages for third world farm workers or Miley Cyrus. I think I tend to be among the more restrained posters in these parts. I don’t tend to insult and denigrate people in the breezy little back and forth that is this forum, but I have to say, that is one of the most idiotic responses I have seen here since the monkey poo flinger left (what was his name? Murgey?). Once again, I will repeat my thesis: Famines are caused by bad government.

    I will elucidate further: good governments and even mediocre governments take care of their citizens and husband the resources necessary to ameliorate the vicissitudes of regular food production. This is, of course, based on popular sovereignty-if the government is the servant of the people and the people can remove the individuals who are running the government then those individuals are far less likely to allow their constituents to starve to death. Mass starvation tends to depress electoral poll numbers a tad bit.

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  15. And controlled by Valerie Jarrett.

    She wishes.

    DeBeers is truly one of the more evil corporations to ever exist. The things they have done in order to not only maintain their monopoly on diamonds, but maintain the price and distribution structures are nothing short of monstrous. Any law or regulation that concerns diamonds, anyplace in the world, is the product of DeBeers furthering their control of the diamond market in some manner.

    On the other hand, they have proven themselves to complete masters of marketing strategies. Just about 100% of the customs we currently have most places in the world concerning purchasing diamonds have been manufactured out of thin air by DeBeers marketing departments within the last century, starting with engagement rings.

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  16. Stogy, I agree “bad government” was a bit glib. China’s famous famine was caused by ragingly incompetent government. And one of the purposes of government is to respond to disasters and famines and to maintain the infrastructure that allows people to respond.

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  17. China’s famous famine was caused by ragingly incompetent government.

    Actually I remember reading from some dissident or another that the government wanted exactly this. China has always had an over population problem, and nothing helps control that as well as people dying….

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  18. HAL, “bad” can be a synonym of “incompetent” as well as “evil.” I was shooting for both (of course they frequently overlap).

    I revised and extended my remarks a bit. Still maintain that stogy was absurd in his response.

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  19. Still maintain that stogy was absurd in his response.

    Perhaps I was glib. And I also apologize for the fact that my tone might sometimes come across as prissy and pedantic. And yes, as you say, I conceded already that I was switching the topic slightly. Your original “bad government” comment could be read in a variety of ways (as you’ve also said), and when combined with the free market ideology being strongly promoted in the original post, I don’t think my point is so absurd.

    A good case can be made for showing the interactions between governments and markets can be really destructive, just as they can be beneficial.

    I mean, contrast this:

    Your average leftist responded to these revelations with the usual drivel about the evils of profit

    with this, from SO of all people:

    DeBeers is truly one of the more evil corporations to ever exist.

    I actually don’t think we can say there are evil corporations (even Monsanto). Why would you blame a company for doing what companies should do, which is to make money? (Of course, some companies do it more ethically than others).

    Instead, I would argue that the focus should be on improving systems that make companies and governments behave in socially good or bad ways – how do we create better systems in which we get better government and a strong private sector? How do we get the best possible society, that delivers the greatest benefits to as many of its members as possible?

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  20. Who hijacked CM’s account?

    I guess that’s the only way you can factor that into your charicature. Although in saying that you could have alternatively taken the Alex approach with the whole ‘people like you’ approach…;-)

    Alex the ‘LSM’ have probably ignored this because it simply isn’t news. Unless, as I say, you’re still operating in the 1980s.

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  21. A Bono (PBUH) thread. *nostalgic sniff* Where’s Jabba when ya need him?

    I hear ya. Thems were the days.
    Almost makes me feel like seeking out and re-reading some of the classics….

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  22. Instead, I would argue that the focus should be on improving systems that make companies and governments behave in socially good or bad ways – how do we create better systems in which we get better government and a strong private sector? How do we get the best possible society, that delivers the greatest benefits to as many of its members as possible?

    Although that entire paragraph seems to encapsulate your whole world political view it is mostly in opposition to what most folks here believe.

    But in the off-chance that you were asking a legitimate question my answer would be:
    Less government, more free market.

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  23. But in the off-chance that you were asking a legitimate question my answer would be:
    Less government, more free market.

    And, if MY feels like I do, I think he mean real free market: not the crony capitalist system the nanny staters have set up so they can keep growing their power and wealth while picking who wins and who loses. Compete, legally and honestly, in a system that isn’t rigged to favor one thing over another, and if you can’t, go the way of the Dodo bird. In the end consumers will always win when that law is allowed to rule the roost instead of political and social engineering.

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  24. And, if MY feels like I do, I think he mean real free market: not the crony capitalist system the nanny staters have set up so they can keep growing their power and wealth while picking who wins and who loses. Compete, legally and honestly, in a system that isn’t rigged to favor one thing over another, and if you can’t, go the way of the Dodo bird. In the end consumers will always win when that law is allowed to rule the roost instead of political and social engineering.

    Interesting. I have a few questions:

    1. Would your solution help people suffering from a chronic and crippling disease that is uneconomical to treat?
    2. Would your system provide food and shelter for the long-term unemployed?
    3. How does your system provide support for people who had an accident at work and are now unemployed (and unemployable) as a result?
    4. How does this system stop companies from dumping mercury in rivers?
    5. How does this system stop fisherman from fishing species into near extinction? Or a mining company from drilling in national parks?
    6. How do you break the connection between big money and politics, given that the people voting on this are likely to have been elected using money donated by companies who want to manipulate the system for their own ends?

    All of these situations involve picking winners or losers – some kind of social/environmental engineering against the free market. In all of them, something or someone goes the way of the dodo if they aren’t protected. Where do you draw the line?

    I really want to say that I don’t mean this as an attack – I think what you are proposing would be really interesting to see, particularly if you were actually able to break the connection between big money and politics. But I am really interested to see where you think is something necessary for governments to do, and where you think the government is picking winners and losers.

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