Wineskins Archive

February 11, 2014

Rocking Away Debt (May-Jun 2002)

Filed under: — @ 6:41 pm and

by Eric Quiram
May – June, 2002

Bono, lead singer of the megalithic rock band U2, has recently been making a big splash across the globe but this time it’s not with songs and limelight. The rock icon has been using his fame as a platform to address issues of social justice. As part of the Jubilee 2000 movement — based on the book of Leviticus “Ye shall hallow the fiftieth year…and ye shall return every man unto his possessions” — Bono has been using his influence to appeal to policymakers and politicians concerning the issue of third world debt. By providing debt relief to these countries unable to keep up with interest payments, let alone principal, money can then be channeled to the areas within the country where it is most needed, such as health care, education and infrastructure.

Bono approaches the senators with an unveiled pragmatism, “We put it in the most crass terms possible; we argue it as a financial and security issue for America … There are potentially another 10 Afghanistans in Africa, and it is cheaper by a factor of 100 to prevent the fires from happening than to put them out,” says Bono in a recent Time article. Yet ultimately his motive seems to be one of compassion: “You still find people my parents’ age in Europe who talk about the Marshall Plan. That was where Europe felt the grace of America, in a way more than just stepping in with its military might.” So as Bono reaches to persuade our politicians to enact something as far-reaching as the Marshall Plan, we can all learn something from the rock star when he says, “I’m tired of dreaming. I’m into doing at the moment.”

Eric Quiram

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