Bono: 'Capitalism Takes More People Out of Poverty Than Aid'

Michael W. Chapman | March 26, 2015 | 3:30pm EDT
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U2 frontman Bono, who is also an investor, philanthropist, and Christian told students at Georgetown University that real economic growth, not government aid, is what lifts people and countries out of poverty long-term, emphasizing that "entrepreneurial capitalism" is the key to prosperity.

“Some of Africa is rising, and some of Africa is stuck," said Bono while speaking at Georgetown's McDonough School of Business to about 700 students.  "The question is whether the rising bit will pull the rest of Africa up, or whether the other Africa will weigh the continent down. Which will it be? The stakes here aren’t just about them."

"Imagine for a second this last global recession [in 2007-2009] but without the economic growth of China and India, without the hundreds of millions of newly minted middle class folks who now buy American and European goods – imagine that," said Bono.  "Think about the last 5 years."

Then, holding his forehead with his right hand, Bono, who has an estimated wealth of $600 million, said, "Rock star preaches capitalism—wow. Sometimes I hear myself and I just cannot believe it."

"But commerce is real," he said.  "That’s what you’re about here. It’s real. Aid is just a stop-gap. Commerce, entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid -- of course, we know that.”

Bono made those remarks on Nov. 12, 2012, but they were not widely reported by the so-called mainstream press, which is largely liberal, pro-big government, and anti-capitalist.

Bono with his wife, Alison Hewson. (AP)

In a 2013 interview, Bono explained his belief that Jesus Christ truly is the Son of God, saying, "I don’t think you’re let off easily by saying [Jesus was] a great thinker or great philosopher. Because, actually, he went around saying he was the Messiah. That’s why he was crucified.”

He was crucified because he said he was the Son of God,” said Bono.  “So, he either, in my view, was the Son of God or he was nuts.  Forget rock-and-roll messianic complexes, I mean Charlie Manson-type delirium. And I find it hard to accept that whole millions and millions of lives, half the Earth, for 2,000 years have been touched, have felt their lives touched and inspired by some nutter.  I just, I don’t believe it.”

When asked whether he thus believed that Jesus was divine and "arose physically from the dead," Bono said, "yes," and added that he also believes Jesus made promises to the world that will come true.

Bono’s real name is Paul David Hewson.  He was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1960 and is married to Alison Hewson. They have four children.

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