Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Little Wonder Geldof's Frustrated

I don't even know if I know any Geldof tunes, but in general it's getting tougher to listen to music as more musicians get their genius quotes in print. Radiohead and their "Fair" trade, Chris Martin's evils of shareholders, the list goes on.

If Bob Geldof thinks he's the man to cure any of the poor's ills, he might get a handle on market economics first. Here's his latest distilled brilliance, when he found out (surprise) that Live8 tickets were for sale on eBay:

"It is completely against the interests of the poor. The people who are selling these tickets on Web sites are miserable wretches who are capitalizing on people's misery."

Is it? Are the poor getting less money because of the auction of tickets? Well, indirectly, yes, because Mr. Geldof sold the tickets for less than they're worth in the first place. So the responsibility for the short-changing of the poor rests squarely on his shoulders. He got a whopping $5.4 million for 150,000 tickets, roughly $35 per ticket. For a concert of this profile, and additionally for charity, that is simply pathetic.

I can understand his frustration, because based on the sale prices of the some of the tickets (almost $1000), it is obvious that his lottery sales method is leaving a ton of money on the table that his beneficiaries will never see. And whether it happens on eBay or not, those tickets are going to be sold to people that want them. Maybe next time he'll take a page from reality and set aside some tickets for auction instead of crying about capitalism.

Which brings up another problem-- how does someone so clueless about market economics hope to help the poor in any significant way? He obviously can't be hoping to convert them into "miserable wretches" like we all apparently are-- you know, we people who buy and sell things for (gasp) money.

Beyond that, another annoying moment in the item is where he blames eBay for ever allowing the tickets to go on sale, as though eBay has a responsibility to proactively monitor every individual auction and judge whether Mr. Geldof is offended by it. It is in no way illegal to sell the tickets, keep in mind, but Mr. Geldof expects some other kind of standard. He calls it "a sort of example of corporate arrogance that it thought it could operate outside the morality of its audience."

I absolutely agree with him on one thing. The problem is arrogance.


Anonymous Pete Mitchell, Special Forces said...

I think the point you make is valid, thoug shouldn't some slack be given when an individual (especially a non-notable like Geldof) tries to get a project whose sole benefit is to raise money for poor people? Or do you think this is merely a launching pad for a Boomtown Rats?
And the Vikings are hot tonight. All cylinders are in full force, all eyes on the court. When the green machine gets started, things could get ugly real fast! Never one to look backwards and always moving forward like the primordial shark in waters littered with the carrion of leesser teams in the Valco Leauge, the ancient though bold Norse warriors trudge onward, pillaging, plundering, and yes, I dare say, raping those lesser cultures like so much ersatz.
And the beat goes on to Pendleteon.

5:52 PM  

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