Actor Ashton Kutcher made headlines this week for his remarks upon accepting a Teen Choice Award. Known, with his wife Demi Moore, for supporting liberal candidates, Kutcher told youngsters the stark reality about life: If you want to get along in this world, no on is going to give you anything (except, of course, the federal government) and to get ahead take a job, no matter how low paying and menial. Then, he said, learn from it, get a better job; learn from that, get still a better job, and so on. He said that's what he did from a very early age. It's a powerful testament:
Hey you young people: Work! Work! Work! It's good for you!
Around the same time, another celebrity identified with liberalism, one who's international fame dwarfs Kutcher's by-comparison-modest-notoriety, made an even an even bigger confession. Bono, the singer for super rock group U2 — a Christian who admires the work of C.S. Lewis, and known for his humanitarian work in Africa — now confesses that developing capitalism in Third World countries is the best way to lift those destitute societies out of poverty. While Bono deserves great credit for bringing the plight of the poor, especially in Africa, to world wide attention, and for raising millions of dollars in donations, he secured most of that money and aid through governments, including hefty sums from U.S. taxpayers.
In short, he was an adamant proponent of government aid as the only way to remedy the problems of poor countries. He charmed smitten world leaders out of their citizens' hard-earned tax money and into the accounts of do-good international agencies determined to make things right by the sheer power of their compassion and so-called expertise — programs he now realizes failed and only made the intended beneficiaries more dependent, often on corrupt governments.
Now he sees a better way, one that is sure to inflame the Left. According to David J. Theroux of the Independent Institute's The Beacon Blog, the Irishman has adopted capitalism and calls government aid only a stop gap. In something that will surely get the secularists' knickers in a twist, he even met with Jim Daly of Focus on The Family. Here's an excerpt of that interview:
Bono: It’s very annoying following this Person of Christ around [chuckling], because He's very demanding of your life.
Daly: It’s very hard.
Bono: And it's hopeless ... trying to keep up with it.
Daly: In fact, Bono, C. S. Lewis has a great quote which I love: "When a man is getting better, he understands more and more clearly the evil that’s left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less." That is powerful, isn’t it?
Bono: Yeah, it might ... that could turn up on the next U2 album, but I won’t give him or you any credit.
Maybe that provoked some introspection into his methods.So much for dependency, according to Bono. Instead of government handouts, it's time for people to get to work. He learned this perhaps from Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Development, by George Ayittey, also of the Independent Institute, when the two met in 2007 and Bono reiterated to Ayittey his commitment to redistributionism. Bono also learned economic reality as a co-founder of a venture capital firm. Here's what he said recently at Georgetown University (and ignored by the Mainstream Media):
Capitalism: It works because it provides you work.
The hard truth for liberals to learn is that, no matter how well intentioned their ideas and programs, the only way for people to avoid the trap of dependency and government dictates (whether by corrupt governments and strong men regimes, or even by depressing economic policies and heavy regulation that determine or limit outcomes and opportunities in democracies) is capitalism. The freedom and liberty of capitalism allow for an end run of oppression and big government. As Bono now sings, it's the only effective counter measure to the inactivity that perpetuates poverty and increases the life muting disease of government dependence, and which provides for life affirming work and accomplishment.
Sitting with its author, George Ayittey, U2's Bono and the economics book that shed his liberal views?