From Reuters via Julie :
As Congress debates a White House-proposed $700 billion bailout for the worst financial crisis since the Depression of the 1930s, Bono questioned why wealthy countries had not been able to come up with enough aid for the world’s problems.
“It is extraordinary to me that you can find $700 billion to save Wall Street and the entire G8 can’t find $25 billion to save 25,000 children who die every day of preventable treatable disease and hunger,” the U2 lead singer told Clinton’s fourth annual philanthropic summit in New York. “That’s mad, that is mad.” … “Bankruptcy is a serious business and we all know people who have lost their jobs,” Bono said, referring to the bankruptcy declared by Wall Street investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. “But this is moral bankruptcy.”

There's a lot that could be said about the current financial crisis, but Bono's right- there are more important things we're totally ignoring. The financial crisis is urgent, to be sure, but so are the 25,000 children dying each day. Our priorities are wrong.


Matt said...

I'm not following this entire thing very closely, so maybe I've got even the most basic facts wrong. But my understanding is this... The $700B is an investment, which the government anticipates will stabilize the U.S. economy and yield a return, which would in turn bring the deficit back to where it was before.

Who would loan $25B to thousands of starving children? What kind of return would you expect on an investment like that? The yield would tangibly be an increased population, putting even more strain on the systems in which they live, which clearly aren't ready to support even themselves, let alone the following generation.

I don't mean to be cold-hearted... I'm playing a personal role in feeding and educating some of these children Bono's talking about. But I'm not sure you can call the government's actions to bail out the economy compassionate, not their refusal to invest in other parts of the world that are nowhere near being self-sustaining unwise. It's apples and oranges. The U.S. government is just a government, managing their own people.

Joanna said...

Bono anticipated your ROI question, apparently. See this interview with CNN


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