by: Rob on Nov 22, 2005|
(Written July 4, 2005)
The Live-8 Concert for Africa is different from the concerts in the 80s. The concerts in the 80s were to ask you, as an individual, to donate your own money to Africa. The Live-8 concert is asking you to get the government to give your money, along with other people's money, to Africa.
1. Why do you need the government to give your money to Africa? Why don't you just give it yourself?
2. Why do you want to force other people to give money to Africa?
#1 implies that you think it is somehow more efficient for you to get taxed, and the money sent to Africa. That all that paperwork and bureaucracy is somehow more efficient than a direct donation.
#2 implies that your argument that we should help Africa is so unconvincing that you have to force people to do it. You do not feel that you can encourage them to do so willingly.
If you want people to send money to Africa, convince them it is the right thing to do. And, if anything, encourage governments to DECREASE taxes so that people have more money to make such donations/investments with. As long as we give so much as a country, we don't feel responsible to help as individuals. Perhaps we should pull out all government aid and make it clear that it is the responsibility of individuals to help.
Personally it's easy to make a case for helping starving and abjectly poor people. But the whole idea of someone using their political power to force me to do something that they believe in and that they don't really care what I believe, well that makes me feel bullied. That makes me feel like they are imposing their will on me.
If they want the government to donate 0.7% of GDP and currently its only 0.27%, rather than get them to increase taxes, why don't YOU organise and raise up the 0.43%? If you did it that way, I might be inclined to pitch in.
If you want to lobby the government to create more favourable trading agreements with Africa - fine. If you want to lobby the government to change the WAY they donate/invest the aid - fine. But don't lobby the government to tax more of MY money. Donate your OWN, and then lobby me directly!