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Old 06-06-2007, 01:44 PM   #1
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Bono gets in shouting match at TED conference

Heheh -- give those Stanford conservatives hell, B-man!

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/editors/17618/
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:18 PM   #2
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Bollocks indeed.
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:20 PM   #3
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From an economist's standpoint, Bono's not entirely right, but from any other standpoint

Bono for the motherfucking win yehaaaaa
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:25 PM   #4
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Bono's ego has assumed such gigantic proportions that he cannot even listen to a contrary viewpoint without shouting it down!

Sad, really.
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:55 PM   #5
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What you call ego I call passion...debate is nice but look at it from Bono's point of view. He's going around trying to raise this aid, so people won't die, and here's some cat saying the aid is hurting Africa. I think it's a fair argument to make, in the abstract, but in reality that aid is keeping people alive, and this guy says it's a bad thing?

If I were Bono I'd shout too...it must be nice to be well off enough to make an argument that feeding the hungry or treating the ill is a bad thing. Something tells me if the guy were starving and/or dying of malaria he might feel differently.
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Old 06-06-2007, 04:58 PM   #6
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He may be passionate, but he's partly (and maybe significantly) wrong here. There are a number of educated, intelligent and thoughtful African economists who completely disagree with Bono's assessment of this apparent growing prosperity and so on. My family who live in two African countries also think that he's looking at it through rose-coloured glasses.

But of course, that's something like heresy on this site.
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Old 06-06-2007, 05:13 PM   #7
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Bono is trying to say in a round about way, that even though there is prosperity, there are still people trying to survive and that the prosperity that is taking place is not going to save everyone. Therefore, Bullocks.
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Old 06-06-2007, 06:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
He may be passionate, but he's partly (and maybe significantly) wrong here. There are a number of educated, intelligent and thoughtful African economists who completely disagree with Bono's assessment of this apparent growing prosperity and so on. My family who live in two African countries also think that he's looking at it through rose-coloured glasses.

But of course, that's something like heresy on this site.
Some things to consider here. It's very possible that among certain segments of the population there is growing prosperity. The people Bono focuses on, though, are the poorest of the poor, and I seriously doubt they're "moving on up".

Also Africa is a big place...what's going on in one African country is I'm sure far different from another. I think people tend to seriously generalize when they talk about "Africa".

Edit: Not disagreeing with you anitram, I just really think there's more to it than Bono or the economists who oppose his views are saying. And yes, opposing B on this issue is borderline heresy around here
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Old 06-06-2007, 06:41 PM   #9
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I'm no economist...I took those courses many years ago, so please don't base the following on my intelligence or understanding of the world...my area of specialization is something else.

but...perhaps somebody can clarify for me:

would investing in business really effect those stuck in extreme poverty? wouldn't that just perpetuate the gap between extremely poor and everyone else? i can definitely see the business benefiting from international investment...but i'm wondering if the extreme poor would benefit at all. but then again, isn't that the notion behind edun?? so maybe it takes a little bit of both? and i really think it is rather ignorant to say that 30 years of aid have done nothing at all. that is just too general of a statement.
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Old 06-06-2007, 06:57 PM   #10
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That doesn't really qualify as a shouting match, does it?
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:14 PM   #11
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I think Bono was opposing the viewpoint that aid to the poorest is unnecessary, not that investment is unnecessary. Both can coexist.
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Old 06-07-2007, 04:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by unico
I'm no economist...I took those courses many years ago, so please don't base the following on my intelligence or understanding of the world...my area of specialization is something else.

but...perhaps somebody can clarify for me:

would investing in business really effect those stuck in extreme poverty? wouldn't that just perpetuate the gap between extremely poor and everyone else? i can definitely see the business benefiting from international investment...but i'm wondering if the extreme poor would benefit at all. but then again, isn't that the notion behind edun?? so maybe it takes a little bit of both? and i really think it is rather ignorant to say that 30 years of aid have done nothing at all. that is just too general of a statement.
in capital-starved countries such as the HIPC, foreign direct investment certainly is the way - perhaps the only way - to kick start development. however, for this to successfully happen first the fundamentals need to be in place - infrastructure, education, health institutions, macroeconomic stability and rule of law.

without these fundamentals, FDI will not drastically alter the situation. the aid policy should be directed towards providing these fundamentals for it to be helpful for development. there's something called the rule of specificity, basically to strike at the heart of the disease, instead of trying to remedy its symptoms.

extreme poverty is the disease, but it thrives in environments where the fundamentals are missing.

btw, when it comes to aid, there is aid that hurts - when it is basically dumping extra food supplies - and then there is aid that helps. simply sending rice to a poor country doesnt solve anything, if anything it depresses world rice prices and pushes more poor rice farmers around the world to bankruptcy and poverty. the aid should be delivered in cash, and the recipient country should be allowed to source the products from wherever is the cheapest and economically reasonable to source from.

for example, US food aid program just makes life worse for millions around the world by dumping all the surplus rice produced by the massively subsidized rice industry.
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Old 06-07-2007, 05:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by unico
I'm no economist...I took those courses many years ago, so please don't base the following on my intelligence or understanding of the world...my area of specialization is something else.

but...perhaps somebody can clarify for me:

would investing in business really effect those stuck in extreme poverty? wouldn't that just perpetuate the gap between extremely poor and everyone else? i can definitely see the business benefiting from international investment...but i'm wondering if the extreme poor would benefit at all. but then again, isn't that the notion behind edun?? so maybe it takes a little bit of both? and i really think it is rather ignorant to say that 30 years of aid have done nothing at all. that is just too general of a statement.
Don't know if people will hit me for saying this, but from the first day of Edun launch, I truely believe it's a very stupid business idea. The reason is this investment simply ignored the basic economic rules and the essential steps for economic development. If this idea could win, I call it a miracle.
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:20 AM   #14
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Edun is a way to give the upper classes means to justify purchasing a $90 shirt. It is beyond the reach of all of the lower class and most of the middle class, which combined make up some 90% of society. I always thought it was a dumb idea because of its limited reach, but they're certainly entitled to push forward with it.

If you want change in attitude and hearts and minds, you don't go about it by poking the upper 10% and some members of the middle class willing to save for outrageously priced items. You try to reach the 90% at the bottom who can actually have some influence in the political process but lack the incentive and the will.
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:09 AM   #15
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You know, the problem about Edun is it doesn't make sense to me.

If Edun suppose to be a model of FDI in Africa, then Bono should better worry about the profit and ROI of the project. The marketing strategy isn't working very well, and even the target market was some how far too narrow. And if I was going to start a company in Africa, and you show me a business case like Edun, I might change my idea.

If Edun was to set up draw people's attention to Africa, I don't think it could works better than a really touching documentary of local people's life.

If Edun is to provide opportunities to African people, then they'd better produce something that the local people could afford. From economical viewpoint, if the workers who produce the products could not afford them, and they ended up buying other imported products, the money they earned would be flowing out anyway.

So what he and Ali were thinking?
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