The 5 Worst Disasters in Benefit Concert History


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Photo by Squelle
2. Live Aid Ends Up Giving Money to the People Causing Starvation
Bob Geldof created the benefit concert to end all benefit concerts when he started Live Aid. Stars like Queen, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Elvis Costello, U2 and more performed across the world entertaining almost two billion people and raising something like $250 million in order to try and alleviate starvation in Ethiopia. Hell, it would be easier to list major bands in 1985 who didn't participate. It was a feel-good moment for the decade, and Geldof has twice been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work.

And it's entirely possible that the money actually killed more people than it saved.

For those of you who don't understand why the United States spends money on foreign relief in war-torn shitholes, here's a lesson in global diplomacy. In a sense, we give a country like Ethiopia an ultimatum: We will help feed their starving people if they don't steal the money to make weapons or do anything else horrible with it. If we catch them doing it, we stop giving them money. This way people eat, and now that they aren't starving, they start to see what kind of pricks are causing the famine in the first place. Hopefully, this eventually leads to change and less shitty countries.

Unfortunately, when a private charity tries to do this, they don't have the clout of the American government. Instead, they have to go through non-government operatives, and they ended up losing millions when forced to use the exchange rates used by Ethiopia's brutal Marxist government to fund the ongoing civil war that was a major source of the famine.

The food was also used to lure people into labor camps, where they worked and starved to death. All in all, aid expert David Rieff has estimated that the resettlement program instituted by the Ethiopian government with the Live Aid money may have killed 100,000 people.

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