Monday, July 04, 2005

LIVE8: A Concert to Raise Taxes or Care for the Impoverished?

Some emailed me over the weekend and were confused as to my thoughts about this concert and its purpose. So let me try to clear up any ambiguity. As I have written in a previous article, I do not support the idea that poverty could be "made history" by having a global concert or by the G8 Summit meeting in Scotland this week to "cancel third world debt." This is an effort in futility for several reasons: 1. we're dealing with corrupt governments that are not prone to democratic/human rights thinking; 2. what we have is not a product shortage around the world, but a political one; 3. the most efficient and productive way to use funds and resources abroad is through the private sector--not governmental agencies; 4. the best private sectors are local churches (evangelical/Christian) in those respective nations and/or through private non-profit Para-church ministries; neither of which has been mentioned or made a focus as a viable outlet for the LIVE8 organizers; and 5. in light of Jesus' admonition in John 12:1-8 it seems arrogant and a self-aggrandizing to even think that their efforts could "make poverty history." One must ask the question, when the media circus's lens is not on the world stage, what have all of these singers, actors, celebrities, political figures, etc. been doing the last twenty years since LIVEAID/BANDAID to help "make poverty history?" The answer is obvious: very little.

Again, corrupt tyrannical regimes are the issue here; and throwing more U.S. money or supplies at this problem and canceling legitimate debt by then trading guarantee status to the IMF or World Banks will not begin to solve this plight whatsoever. Mr. Limbaugh is correct that the LIVE8 concert is just another way of saying "we're going to raise your taxes."

Lastly, what I do consider to be a "just and noble cause" is the feedling of the poor and providing them with clean water, medical supplies, education and the gospel of grace from a Christian world-view. This way addresses both their physical and spiritual poverty. But I did not support the LIVE8 concert's philosophy or focus this past weekend. As stated above, we as Christians, we should be going to them partnering with local churches in their own countries and/or solid proven Christian Para-church ministries like: Food for the Hungry and Compassion, International. Both believe and share the gospel; both support the local church; and both are excellent stewards of our financial resources. I hope this helps to clarify.

Soli Deo Gloria,
1 John 3:16-17

From a conservative political/social point of view, listen below to what Mr. Limbaugh said about the LIVE8 event--he is insightful, lucid, and spot on target as he offers very helpful commentary and a much needed perspective. A New Tax Increase for the American People?


Mark said...

Well said.

DLW said...

I'm not impressed. I sincerely doubt that Jesus was referring to the extreme forms of poverty that exist in this world today and they were referring to.

Can we say "Hyperbole"?

And why don't you link to stuff to support your arguments? This is the sort of poor journalistic standards of talk radio where hype is substituted for reason.

DLW said...

I would be careful about using the word, futile.

As a professional musician, one should not make bold statements about subjects that we are not experts on.

In general, I don't see a coherent alternative in your remarks. A reduction in public debt will help private enterprise to the extent that it facillates the provision of public infrastructure needed by private enterprise.

We need to support the Christians in these countries in their own efforts to reduce the corruption and improve the governance in their country, but they can't do much so long as they are saddled by so much debt.

As mentioned before, it doesn't take a lot to make a big difference among the extreme poor and so some debt-cancellation can be justified even if there are inevitable leakages.

Some needed stuff must be provided by the public gov't and that is why corruption does not mean we don't need to commit to helping them build fire walls that will secure the provision of needed public goods.


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