Friday, March 03, 2006

World: Spending to help

A report today of Bono launching a credit card which donates 1% of every transaction to HIV/AIDS solutions in Africa. A quick look on the web reveals it's not the first - there is an Elton John-branded one that does similar, except closer to home for the spenders.

A few thoughts that came out of this:

- it's quite a neat idea to directly associate giving with spending. (Even if it assuages the ego somewhat glibly.) It's more than nothing, and certainly a higher proportion than some governments spend on foreign aid.

- Bono in the news too much? It feels like it. But who can argue, if he's doing worthwhile things. I'm even prepared to praise Bill Gates for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It's better than being disheartened by a Bush or a Howard.

- If this was a life where you were assessed for your ethics, you'd get more points for helping people the further distant they were from your own life. (and one or two more points for not tagging something with your own name. )

As a whole, though, in a world where values are being rapidly reduced to a single, monetary value, it makes a lot of sense to integrate ethical goals with that paradigm.

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