Live Hate

I haven’t really been paying attention to the whole thing, but apparently Bob Geldof is pissed that people are selling Live 8 tickets on eBay:

It is filthy money made on the back of the poorest people on the planet — stick it where it belongs.

Funny, my impression was that Geldof is trying to resurrect his career and record sales on the backs of the poorest people on the planet, but maybe that’s just me.

Of course, it’s silly to claim that eBay or anybody else is making money “on the back of the poorest people on the planet”; I don’t think anybody was planning on sticking up the Red Cross to bid on a ticket.

Now, as I understand it, the tickets were randomly allocated amongst 2 million people who sent in an SMS (at £1.50 a pop) for the opportunity, which meant Geldof & Co. picked up a cool $5 million in revenue. Which, given that the whole Live 8 thing is supposedly about poor people in Africa, you would think would be donated to some Africa-related charity, right? Wrong. Half goes to poor kids in England, and half goes to “cover the cost of staging the concerts” (read: paying the bands). So Live 8, whose “global symbol” is the white band (fittingly, as Colby Cosh points out), wasn’t planning on doing anything for poor people in Africa, other than giving a bunch of aging rockers a chance to feel like they “made a difference”. But scalping tickets on eBay is “filthy money made on the back of the poorest people on the planet”.

Like Joshua Holmes, my question is this: Why the hell didn’t Geldof sell off the Live 8 tickets in the first place (at, say, $100/ticket) rather than practically giving them away?

(150,000 tickets) x ($100/ticket) – ($5 million for various white people) = $10,000,000 surplus

(or, as stated elsewhere: “Clueless, Bob. If you don’t capture the consumer surplus, some other economic actor will.”)

Now, I know the poor Africans are way too noble to be caught up in the bourgeois petty materialism of the West, but don’t you think they’d rather have $10,000,000 than Bob Geldof bitching about “profiteering“?

Update: Be sure to check out Colby Cosh’s National Post column today.

8 Responses to “Live Hate”

  1. Curt Says:

    No, man, pressuring the World Bank and IMF to let corrupt African governments keep their debt money is totally going to make life better for Africans–or at least a couple of Africans.

  2. Mark in Mexico Says:

    Why LIVE 8 won’t work.

    “Correct me if I’m wrong, but are they hoping that one of these guys from the G8 is on a quick 15 minute break at Gleneagles (in Scotland) and sees ANNIE LENNOX singing SWEET DREAMS and thinks,

  3. against live 8 Says:

    I hate those Gedof, Bono those faded starts looking for recognition, how do you dare think you can save 750 millions. I do not thing we africa need your help, we dont need this bad press. If you want to help invest in Africa as you did in asia instead of every ten years making concerts to enjoy yourself. B S this is bad publicity it will never help but hurt

  4. Mark Says:

    I think live 8 is a load of crap. “Were not asking for money? – that is complete bunch of crap as well. It is, was and always will be about the money.

    Say for instance if USA give billions to Africa – I’ll end up paying for it.

    If the USA are so rich, then why do we have a huge deficit and debt?

    We took care of Iraq so the world could sleep at night – let France, Belgium and Germany take case of Africa!

    Help Africa but for God sake lets not put a pipeline of cash to them cause Geldof says so.

    Let the celebs give their money to Africa. Have Pink Floyd and the rest do charity concerts, I’ll go to all of them – FRONT ROW!!

  5. T-Rex Says:

    I live in Africa, and i watch everytime that the West donates some cool hard cash they give it to the Government to distribute. Instead Government officials just buy themselves a new car, a new house, a few hookers and hey!

    I live on a continent of the Banana Republic, you think its like the West down here? Really want to stop helping? Stop donating money

  6. Curt Says:

    Yet more on the same subject here and here. I think the Spiegel article makes a particularly good point, namely that being discrimination (in the classical sense of the word) and judiciousness in the dispensation of aid money is actively discouraged by the hysterical activists who label that as being cynical and callous. Plus I find it amusing in general that the whole aid-money racket is apparently perceived by some Africans as “hush money” to blind everyone to the fact that the West’s protectionist economic policies are screwing over Africa every day. I rather doubt that the phenomenon is that thought-out or coordinated, but like many implausible conspiracy theories the effect is the same as if it were.

  7. Curt Says:

    It reminds me that there are no good intentions which narrow-mindedness or fanaticism cannot undermine.

  8. Jeff Says:

    I watched the news tonight. It said that ” Live 8 attracted 2 billon viewers shattering broadcasting records”. Who do you really think benefitted from the concert? Also, how many albums do you think Bono and friends sold afterwards. I am willing to bet Bono kicking up a fuss is really a stepping stone into politics and a secure legacy for him well after he is gone. I also totally agree with T-rex’s comments. I really wish more Africans could let the rest of the world know how donated money is spent. I wittnessed the same thing in Afghanistan. Charity money buying the local drug lord/politician a new SUV/house/television. I truly believe that if we in the west want to make a difference we should rectify our own problems with greedy, self serving corporate pigs pretending to make the world a better place. Purge our goverments of corruption, and lose some wieght. Oh wait…shopping for cheap Chinese goods made with slave labour is more important.

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