Back in 1985 a group of really wealthy show business types got together to make a video and record a song for charity. The song, we all remember, was “We Are the World” and it has sold over 20 million copies, raised $63 million and raised worldwide awareness for… anybody? What horrible tragedy did these superstars bring to the forefront of our collective consciousness? Seriously, don’t look ahead and don’t Google it, does anyone remember what the charity was? I got to be honest, neither did I. Now, can you name any of the superstars involved? Of course you can.
USA for Africa was formed by singer/actor Harry Belafonte and agent/manager Ken Kragen to aid starving children in Africa. A noble idea if ever there was one! So they got Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, yes he was a big star before he was just Nicole’s daddy, and they got a bunch of their friends and fellow big shots to record a song for charity.
I don’t know how much of the $63 million raised was actually turned into food on the plate of a kid in Africa but let’s say it was 100%. That’s a little less than Michael Jackson spent on lawyer fees and llama feed over the same period of time. My point is that if the 40 plus millionaires had really wanted to do something selfless they could have each kicked in a million or two into an endowment and at an average return of 6.5% on an fund of 50 million they could have donated more money to poor nations and still have the fifty million sitting there working for the starving kids. It just seems to me that what is promoted most with these celebrity videos is the celebrities themselves.
The horrible situation in Haiti has spawned a new group of super wealthy musicians and actors hungry to let us know how caring they are. They have gotten together to redo the 1985 classic. I saw a photo of the group and right smack dab in the middle is the Poster Girl for American Liberalism, Barbara Streisand, woman whose personal net worth is probably equal to ten years of the GNP of Haiti. Look you guys, you want to get together and pat each other on the back, that’s great. You really want to help Haiti; sit down and write a check so big it actually brings your net wealth down a percentage point or two and form a foundation that will support aid to Haiti forever. Heck, I’ll even kick in a few bucks myself.