fueling your private jet with pure hypocrisy.

Bono’s charity, ONE, is the poster child for feel-good limousine liberal activism.  In 2008, they took in $14 million in donations, and disbursed a mere $184,000 (or 1%) to charities.  A whopping $8 million (or 57%) of those donations went to executive and employee salaries.  Meanwhile, ONE spends a bunch of cash sending expensive schwag to New York newsrooms to make them help convince the government to cough up $6 billion of taxpayer cash to fight AIDS and tuberculosis in Africa.

That’s the Berkeley Way right there: take in donations, take a sixty percent cut for yourself off the top, and spend most of the rest on stuff Starbucks coffee and Moleskine notebooks to woo reporters.  Focus your efforts on convincing the government to write out checks.  Ask for money that has to be confiscated from other people’s paychecks, people who are so greedy and cold-hearted that they simply don’t care to shell out those $6 billion voluntarily.  Meanwhile, you tour the world in private jets, and carry your nose high because you’re running a non-profit charity.

Now, I’m not slamming charity here.  But what Boner and the other limousine liberals just like him are practicing isn’t charity.  It’s self-congratulatory (and lucrative) grandstanding.


64 thoughts on “fueling your private jet with pure hypocrisy.

  1. scotaku says:

    Dear Mr. Bono,

    Please stop. I saw an ad with you and someone named Ali on the back of a magazine recently… something about Louis Vuitton? luggage. And you and the pretty lady were getting off a small plane and probably headed someplace to talk about Poverty. I felt ineffectual because I am not a singer, nor do I have sunglasses. Or luggage, for that matter. I am working on the “one name” thing, though.

    Vuitton ≠ a good platform for this. Thanks to you, I will donate some of my incredibly meager savings to a different charity.


  2. Lissa says:

    It’s self-congratulatory (and lucrative) grandstanding.

    Grandstanding? More like a circlejerk. (excuse my French)

  3. diane says:

    The 990 of any public charity (501(c)(3)) is a matter of public record. You can find them free at Guidestar.org, or request a copy direct from the IRS (who will charge copying fees).

    Do this for ALL charities you are considering giving money to. Look for the Statement of Functional Expenses in the main form – every expense will be categorized as Management & General (overhead & officer salaries), Fundraising (costs to raise money) or Program Services (the funds that are actually used to support the charitable purpose of the organization).

    There’s a lot more info there (they have to disclose officer salaries, for one) and it can be incredibly eye-opening.

  4. Chris says:

    I think it’s important to let people know where the money they donate is actually going.

    I’ve been following the doings of the Humane Society of the United States for a while, and hardly any of their money goes to shelters – they don’t run any, to begin with – though tons of it goes to advertising and lobbying campaigns, not to mention paying the salaries of its top employees. Blech.

    It’s a shame so many people see their commercials on TV and donate money, since none of it ever reaches shelters. People would be better off just donating money, pet food, towels, etc. to their local shelter.

    Same with ONE. Lots of people giving money with good intention only to line the pockets of a couple of people and not make any real difference at all.

  5. Joe D. says:

    See, this right here is why I aggressively thumbs-down any U2 song that comes up on Pandora, even though I don’t mind the music itself. I’m sure that plenty of other musicians are just as bad, but Bono is just so dang blatant about it that I can’t listen to him without wanting to break things.

  6. Brian J. says:

    Don’t forget his fashion line, Edun, which he founded to provide manufacturing jobs in Africa. After retailers started complaining about quality and late orders, Edun shifted production to Asia.


  7. […] Fueling your private jet with pure hypocricy (The Munchkin Wrangler) […]

  8. Ish says:

    Well, the organization is named “ONE,” innit?

  9. Kevin P. says:

    While “charities” and “foundations” are often BS tax classifications (as was pointed out by another commenter) – There is a severe lack of analysis going on in this post and in the NY post.

    While the IRS data is clear, and spending 8 million of 14 million is not exactly effective direct fund raising, it may be effective indirect fund raising. The money dolled out to charities is irrelevant – I’m not sure why they gave any of it away.

    As you correctly point out, their goal is not to raise a few million (peanuts) to fight AIDS and TB, it’s to raise a few million to fund lobbying efforts with various governments to raise a few BILLION. Regardless of how you feel about that, that is a far more effective way to raise money for a cause.

    Whats 8 million out of 1 billion? < 1% – So while I'm no Bono fan, let's judge the success of "ONE" on how much money they convince the world to give towards these causes. That is of course assuming you are a fan of governments giving money to these causes – which I happen to be.

  10. Pumice says:

    The book of Proverbs sums it up:

    (Proverbs 12:10 KJV) A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

    Compassion is not a help when it is not guided by love and grace

  11. George says:

    “That is of course assuming you are a fan of governments giving money to these causes – which I happen to be.”

    I have a really, really big problem with government pointing a gun at my head and taking my money to give out to whatever cause they feel like. If taxes are a necessary evil, then the minimal amount should be taken to support only the absolutely necessary functions of government (and government charity is not a necessary function even if you think it is). If you want money to go to given cause, then donate your own money and work on your own to convince others to give. Don’t use force to take mine.

    And that’s about as polite as I can be on that subject.

  12. DAL357 says:

    He should concentrate more on making interesting music with his band, ’cause I ain’t ever heard anything from U2 that could be called even remotely musically interesting, and I’m talking about all the way back to the 1980s. This dude’s such a lame fraud in more ways than one.

  13. Richard says:

    The Berkeley Way? In reference to U.C. Berkeley?

    If so, I am not quite sure what you are getting at. What does a public university have to do with how some charities are run?

    Or perhaps you are just rehearsing your prejudices. ONE is clearly a lobbying charity, and as such, their expenditures seem quite in line with expectations.

  14. […] fueling your private jet with pure hypocrisy Bono’s charity, ONE, is the poster child for feel-good limousine liberal activism.  In 2008, they took in $14 million in donations, and disbursed a mere $184,000 (or 1%) to charities.  A whopping $8 million (or 57%) of those donations went to executive and employee salaries.  Meanwhile, ONE spends a bunch of cash sending expensive schwag to New York newsrooms to make them help convince the government to cough up $6 billion of taxpayer cash to fight AIDS and tuberculosis in Africa. […]

  15. thomas mc says:

    On the other hand, limousine conservatives use their “charities” to convince the government that CEOs who make a billion dollars a year should pay less in taxes than a secretary who makes only twenty thousand.

    • anonamoose says:

      Let’s say the billionare only has to pay 10%. His secretary pays a whopping 40%. (This is a terrible overestimate.)

      So the billionare pays 10% of $1,000,000,000 = $100,000,000
      The secretary pays 40% of $20,000 = $8000.

      According to your math, the billionare pays less in taxes?

      If we’re talking relative percentages and not absolute numbers, what exactly is the right percentage that the government should be allowed to take out of someone’s paycheck by force? We’ve already established in this example that the billionaire pays 12500 times more taxes than the secretary. What makes the billionaire less of a citizen than the secretary, that they should pay 12500 times more, other than your personal class warfare against people that make more money than you?

      • Tam says:

        Remember, economic prosperity is finite, like a pizza. If that billionaire has too many slices, all you get is the box.

        You can’t get on the phone and order another pizza. You can’t make your own pizza. You can’t decide to get a burger instead.

        At least, that’s the way the economy works in Progressiveland.

      • Ron says:

        I love how “conservatives” screech when asked to pay their fair share for infrastructure and other investments that keep us from eating each other. Say that billionaire is a manufacturing tycoon who has benefitted relatively more from the roads that his trucks run on, the courts that protect his investments/patents, the SEC that is supposed to ensure a fair playing field, the police/fire protection that protect his property, the clean air and water that keep his employees healthy, the public school system that educates them and on and on and on. Should he not pay a whole lot more than the secretary scraping buy on 20k? Hey pays more because he owes more to society because he has benefitted more. And in these hard times the government has a marginal propensity to spend, the billionaire does not. Would you rather our economy collapse or do we ask more in taxes to keep us all afloat? Go ahead, “self made man!” “bootstraps!” “every one for themselves!” Effing Randians.

        • Tam says:

          I love how “conservatives” screech when asked to pay their fair share…

          I love how preschool the phrase “fair share” sounds. Do you want the crusts cut off of your “fair share”?

          Who determines what’s “fair”? You? Teacher?

          Okay, we’ll take the check and split it evenly 300,000,000 ways. Oh, wait… You say that little Billy Gates should have to pay more than you? Your “fair share” is smaller than his?

          I love how “liberals” are all about “equal rights” every goddam day of the year except April 15th.

        • Ron says:

          I love how “conservatives” are all about equal rights only one day of the year on April 15th.

        • Tam says:

          I love how “conservatives” are all about equal rights only one day of the year on April 15th.

          That statement is such errant bullshit that it doesn’t deserve a response, but what the hell…

          From “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” to “…are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”, which ones do your alleged ‘conservatives’ think belong to Bill Gates but not to Bill Bridgedweller?

        • Tam says:

          …my bad, make that “arrant”.

        • Ron says:

          Tam: “Who determines what’s “fair”? You? Teacher?”


        • Snipingtheliberals says:

          Actaully NO … I GET to decide what is fair.

          I have decided that RON pays 100% of his share to Unk Sam

          After all boot up or shut up bitch

        • Ron says:

          Tam: Who determines what’s “fair”? You? Teacher?

          Seriously, I should point out the obvious since you didn’t include it in the choices you gave me. They are called “elected representatives”. They are usually chosen by a process known as “voting.” One is given a list of “candidates” and one makes one’s “mark” by the candidate of one’s choice. I realize this whole democracy thing doesn’t comport with notion of fairness, but we can’t have everything right? Ooops, forgot to use my carriage key!

        • Snipingtheliberals says:

          actually its a private organization called the IRS but nice try.

          Tell ya what … we would like to see what taxes you have paid in the last 3 years.

          And BTW what about all those people that rich guy employed …. should they be paying taxes too?

          After all he already paid their fair share.

          Come on shoot us the proof that your NOT a welfare loving public tit sucking assmunch

        • Ron says:

          “Private Organization”? Who owns the IRS? I have an idea for you “Snipingtheliberals”; you can live you your libertarian fantasies completely free of government interference in Somalia! You can be anything you like there and free market capitalism abounds. My guess is you wouldn’t last long and your “sniping” comes from being a keyboard commando which is pretty typical actually.

          Oh and for the record, I do OK. Not rich, not poor. And the rich guy’s customers paid his and the employee’s taxes if you wish to get technical. But who needs customers right? They’re probably liberal leeches for the most part.

        • Snipingtheliberals says:

          The IRS is not a U.S. Government Agency. It is an Agency of the IMF. (Diversified Metal Products v. IRS et al. CV-93-405E-EJE U.S.D.C.D.I., Public Law 94-564, Senate Report 94-1148 pg. 5967, Reorganization Plan No. 26, Public Law 102-391.)

          And I am not a libertarian.

          You babble is cheap but your points are dull …. something your wife has brought up a few times BTW.

          And its obvious to me that your one of those who fair share is 0

          Thanks for playing… may a razor-blade find a home in your wrist and your genetic pollution find an end at the bottom of a stripper pole.

        • Firehand says:

          Hey, if you want to start in on ‘benefits/taxes’, how about all the people who have jobs because the rich guy made a business work? They all pay taxes, they all use the roads etc., so he should get a break on taxes because of all the side-benefits of his getting rich.

          Or you could get rid of all the tax shelters and such and have EVERYBODY pay a flat rate; then all the people like Ted Kennedy and other corrupt politicians would be paying the same rates as the people they whine about being ‘cheap’ and ‘uncaring’.

        • Ron says:

          You do realize that Ted Kennedy died?

        • Tam says:

          Oh, and it’d make your screed ever so much more readable if you’d use your goddam carriage return key once in a blue moon.

        • Ron says:

          Thanks for the advice for my next screed.

        • TCK says:

          Anyone who uses the words “public school” and “education” in the same sentence is automatically disqualified from offering an opinion.

    • Snipingtheliberals says:

      No no

      we call those non-profit organizations, or advocacy groups. Most “Conservative charities” would involve getting off your liberal ass, turning off you ipod, and giving your time.

      But you make my point so well. You can’t tell the difference between UNICEF and the Brady bunch.

  16. Bono says:

    Why should I care? As long as you dumb-ass sheep get your red Ipod, the world should be a better place.

  17. […] Fueling your private jet with hypocrisy. I’ve never liked Bono, and if the statements in this story are true then he’s even more of a dick than I imagined him to be. ~ BLiggy […]

  18. commenter says:

    It is an advocacy organization; its job is not to ship emergency baby food to the starving.
    I have no idea if it is an effective advocate for its chosen causes though.

  19. clvrmnky says:

    [Citation needed]

  20. Ben says:

    I don’t disagree with your ideas. I think you have a good point that charities need to be held accountable and that the majority of the money they collect should go toward the cause. I even agree that Bono seems to be his biggest fan, patting himself on the back for all the good work that he’s done.
    Where you lost me was the name calling. “Limousine liberals?” Boner? Can’t you make your point without stooping to the fourth grade?
    One thing that strikes me is that the $14 million ONE collected helped initiate a $6 billion payout to help Africa to cope with the AIDS crisis. Those number are pretty impressive, no? Not entirely unworthy of a little pat on the back, even if it has to come from your own hand.

    • No, those numbers are sickening. Why are we giving $6 billion to Africa when the US economy is in a shambles? America needs to stop being Daddy Warbucks to the world and figure out what we are going to do to fix things here at home before it’s too late. That is, unless it already IS to late. Then what?


      • George says:

        Damn right. Also, throwing money at Africa doesn’t help the people one damn bit when that money is siphoned off by corrupt officials and warlords.

        Want to help the Africans, and I mean REALLY help them? How about lifting a finger to stop the various and sundry genocides that occur instead of ignoring them. Cold steel and hot lead are the answers, not green paper.

  21. […] blufaction Cars, music, technology, and shiny things. « DiRTY RADiO fueling your private jet with pure hypocrisy. September 25, 2010 From https://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/fueling-your-private-jet-with-pure-hypocrisy/ […]

  22. N says:

    Interesting, I read the original article on ONE and I think they missed the point. Bono’s charity is an advocacy one, not a development/aid one like Oxfam, etc. In fact, after living and working in the development field in Sri Lanka for almost year, I think what advocacy groups do to remove the crooked development debts and the unfair trade balances is what is essential to solve issues like poverty.

    Read Joseph Stiglitz’s Making Globalization Work and you will see that despite the official end of colonialism after so many centuries of exploitation, through protectionism in developed countries and unfair trade restrictions, the exploitation of developing countries by the global North is very much alive. And people in the developed world need to understand that their cushy lives are built on the suffering of millions through these policies.

    It’s easy to point fingers at organizations like ONE, but I highly doubt the critical commentors on the original post and article are any less hypocrital. They will donate to the ‘charities’ that exacerbate the miseries, but are unlikely to actually give up any of their excessive material comforts to ensure trade parity and equal economic opportunity for those in developing countries,

    P.S. ‘Charities’ like Oxfam, World Vision, etc while having a place in emergency aid are nothing but a farce when it comes to alleviating poverty. Actually come to Sri Lanka and see the damage they did after the tsunami, imposing solutions on people with little or no understanding or even an attempt to understand the ground situation. Most of their white/foreign passport holder employees in developing countries pull salaries almost 10 times those of Sri Lankan employees and have their accommodation, foreign travel, kid’s school fees, etc paid for while the Sri Lankan employees often have the same university qualifications and much more local knowledge.

    I’m not sure what the efficacy of ONE is but it certainly is at least hitting in the right direction. Unfortunately it seems most people are too lazy to bother finding about the real issues about poverty and why it is still there in the developing world.

  23. Ron says:

    Enough of the liberal bashing. Charity fraud is an equal opportunity racket. Hannity does the same thing with his soldier charity so buyer beware.

    • og says:

      My God, Ron is for real. I thought this was some kind of onionesque parody. I mean, you hear of people with that level of obtuseness, people whose disconnect with reality is complete, but they’re as rare as Mossberg 22t Targo trap rifles in these parts. I especially love the “Hannity does it too!” whine. “Our guys engage in criminally stupid acts, but one time, your guy got accused of something, s there! it’s all the same!!”

      Most people grow up with asinine fantasies but a few sound asswhippings generally cure them of it. I wonder if it’s too late for Ron?

      • Ron says:

        Sad… not surprised you resort to threats of violence. And the rifle reference thrown in for good measure is hilarious! Well done!

        • og says:

          I have never threatened anyone in my life.

        • Firehand says:

          And there was not a threat in your words; but now he’ll claim there was and that PROVES what a nasty conservative/child-eating/woman-hating/etc. you are, and so on. Which will somehow prove the superiority of his argument and world view.

        • Liberty Girl says:

          While you above wished anyone who did not agree with you killed themselves? Typical pussy lib, not man enough to do the job yourself.

        • Ron says:

          Where did I say that people who don’t agree with me should kill themselves? “Typical pussy lib, not man enough to do the job yourself.” Are you saying I should kill myself for not agreeing with myself? Circular logic sounds like a specialty for you.

        • Kristopher says:

          What a dumbass.

          He was talking about the lack of ass whuppins from your parents. I’m sure Og would not want to dirty his hands spanking you at this late date.

          Whiny little bitches like you are made, not born. Spare the rod and spoil the child.

        • og says:

          LOL! Kris: Precisely.

          Since you have a command of the language, you understand the difference between “Threat” and “Musing about the liklihood that repeated gluteal stimulation might dislodge brain cells that are stuck on stupid”

          But hey, it doesn’t have to think, the Won does it’s thinking for it.

          Firehand: you apparently know the type, having encountered pustulence before. Hope he stops by my place, I haven’t had an anencephalic troll that good in ages.

        • Ron says:

          Sounds like you were beaten as a child? How sad for you and your children. Perpetuation of violence sounds like it gives you a real thrill up your leg.

        • og says:

          Yes, like all normal humans, when I misbehaved, I was punished. I know this is a foreign concept to you.

  24. libertyman says:

    I have a remarkable idea – suppose we revamp the IRS to a one page tax code. Everyone pays the same rate — pick a number – and we eliminate 9-10 thousand pages of tax code. If that is not “fair”, I don’t know what is.

  25. Ancient Woodsman says:

    Good Lord, “Ron”. The Mossberg Targa is not a rifle. It is a smoothbore.

    If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.

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