I'm not at all claiming that Bono is solely responsible for debt forgiveness. I was much too blunt in my previous statement. However, I am claiming that debt forgiveness is helpful on a scale that no personal contribution could possibly match and that is a very worthwhile cause for him to champion.
As for the tax dodges, Bono is worth about 50 million. That's a lot of money to you and me, certainly, but in the world of the truly rich, he's just average, if that. Everybody who has this kind of money does similar things. Do you think Bob Castellini doesn't have a tax accountant working out ways to save him from a big tax bill? If he does, will that change your willingness to pay 20 bucks for a ticket to a game?
I work for a philanthropic management consulting firm. I'm familiar with the industry, the giving methods, and the way tax law plays in to it. We can whine and complain that a rich person is avoiding millions in taxes. However, that doesn't change the benefit of what he's trying to accomplish philanthropically. That he does both in no way changes my opinion of him. Almost everybody I know is hypocritical in the sense that they are both selfish and philanthropic. That he does both under the spotlight doesn't change my view of him.
Do you think Shaq wasn't thinking of his tax bill when he wanted to play ball in Florida? Rich people (and most people aspiring to be rich) try to limit their tax bill. Does it "excuse" the behavior? I suppose not. But let's be consistent in our condemnation.