that's right mofos. we just spent the evening with bono. he was in town, 3 blocks from my office, at an nyu event held in honor of the late daniel patrick moynihan. bono was there to introduce a lecture by the economist jeffrey sachs. the two are friends and partners in the fight against poverty.
he arrived in typical bono style, hopping out of the front seat of an suv, and meeting with all the fans waiting for him before he entered the venue. once the event started, bono's introduction of sachs lasted about 20 minutes and was pretty funny. bono noted that sachs is a sort of rock star economist. after all, yer man pointed out, how many other economists have kids out on the sidewalk scalping tickets to their lectures?
the edge was there, along with u2 manager paul mcguinness, punk rock goddess patti smith, and the author frank mccourt. there were quite a few irish american politicos there, and it was noted that bono is ireland's most famous son, an ambassador to the world, and that in his words and actions he stands for values all of his people should be proud of. it was also brought up that the irish have a right to speak out about poverty since they had to overcome a famine of their own. bono then took the opportunity to offer the wealthy, older, irish-americans in attendance a "public service announcement: the famine has ended, we have plenty of potatoes, you can go home now."
sachs gave a lengthy speech that was also very moving. he is an economist, but he is able to use real-life experiences to turn statistics into real stories. his book, the end of poverty, is not a bunch of bullshit. it actually lays out an economic plan, with real statistics and budgets that show how extreme poverty can be halved by 2015, and eventually eliminated.
the one campaign, which aims to pressure the u.s. government into altering its economic policies towards the poorest of the poor, now has 2 million members. it is a lobbying campaign, much like there are lobbying campaigns for things like guns and cigarettes. the difference is that while the nra and the tobacco companies lobby for things that can kill people, the one campaign lobbies for things that will help people stay alive.
the one campaign's goal is to get 10 million americans signed up by 2008. bono said tonight that he is certain they will have 5 million americans working on the one campaign by the next u.s. election. "and then we'll be bigger than the nra."