Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Is Live 8 worth it?

I haven't come to a conslusion of my own yet, but is the expenditure on the part of the City to host Live 8 worth it? Elmer Smith of the DN says yes in this piece and here's why:

What are we supposed to get out of this other than an additional burden on a strained city budget to defray the millions of dollars in police and Streets Department overtime and related costs?

"You can't buy this kind of publicity," the mayor said last month, when he announced the "good" news that the city had been selected as one of the sites for the multi-venued international aid for Africa concert.

You can't. In fact, contrary to local lore, this town comes up big when we gussy up for the public. We do big stuff as well as any major city.
I guess I agree in general, but how do you quantify the benefits of the concert in terms of additional tax revenue, wages for workers and long-term growth?

There is also the argument that the city does little to address income inequality for African-Americans who live here, so why spend so much additional city $ on a free concert for Africa when so many people would have paid a nominal fee to attend?

What do you think?


At 1:51 PM, Blogger DanielUA said...

I think it is very much worth it. It is generally, in my opinion, good to get Philly's name out there along with Cities like London. It may not be measurable, but I certianly think it is valuable.

I would have been pissed off if the concert were held elsewhere.

And, I guess I just see a little bit of a disconnect in your last paragraph. The federal government, with the power to do way more than the City, does little to address income inequalities, or in fact puts in policies that make them worse. Does that mean we shouldn't give foreign aid to Africa?

At 2:02 PM, Blogger DanielUA said...

My question is less, is it worth it, and more, is it worth going?

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Pat Evans/Butcher/Wicks said...

Well I for one will be ging down the shore.

The federal government could do more to address income inequalities in the US, but it is the feds not the city who more directly benefit from a colonized and/or struggling Africa. Our role in Cold War African alone makes the feds responsible for eliminating debt there.

Philly however, and most urban centers, are being strangled by the feds and thus have even less fiscal felxibility for concerts.

Nonethless, Live 8 may well be worth the expense, i just wish we could better quantify why beyond "it seems like a good idea."


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