Bono's BS

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Pa(b)st Prime, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. "Bono, who preaches charity, profits from buyouts, tax breaks..",0,7783814.story?coll=chi-bizfront-hed

    Bono's own dealings haven't always followed the altruistic ideals he espouses, says Richard Murphy, a Downham Market, U.K.-based adviser to the Tax Justice Network, an international lobbying group.

    Murphy points to the band's decision to move its music publishing company to the Netherlands from Ireland in June 2006 in order to minimize taxes. The move came six months before Ireland ended an exemption on musicians' royalty income, which is generally untaxed in the Netherlands.

    ``This is somebody who's exceptionally rich taking the opportunity to shift his tax burden to somebody else, but then asking governments around the world to spend that tax take in the way that he would like,'' Murphy says.

    U2's move to the Netherlands is wrong, says Dick Molenaar, senior partner at All Arts Tax Advisers, a Rotterdam-based tax consulting firm for artists and musicians. ``Everybody needs to pay his fair share of taxation to the government, and therefore we have roads and education and everything,'' he says.

    During the 1990s, U2 used nonexecutive directors who were resident in an offshore tax haven to limit the amount paid by the four band members -- in addition to Bono, they're lead guitarist The Edge, 45, whose real name is David Evans, bass guitarist Adam Clayton, 46, and drummer Larry Mullen, 45.

    ``We pay a great deal of tax around the world and in Ireland we don't pay any more taxes than we have to,'' says Paul McGuinness, U2's manager. ``We're like any other business.''

    ``U2 were never dumb in business,'' Bono says in Bono on Bono. ``We don't sit around thinking about world peace all day.''
  2. Yeah, but he's not the dalai lama.

    Besides , dont you think its a good thing this move prompted a change in this unfair system?

    Heck, the main reason so many rich folk do any charity stuff, is tax deductability.
  3. Typical ad hominem crap.

    Is there something wrong with Bono's message, that would be an argument...

    Or does he need to be Jesus Christ to talk about charity and the poor and problems around the world.

    Many of these people have business managers, and they have no idea what is happening with their finances or where the money is being invested. They follow their financial advisers advice, that is what they are paying them for.

    Perhaps he doesn't agree with where the tax money goes in Ireland or GB, and unlike those who just bitch about it but won't actually do move...he did something.

    How do you know that he isn't taking the tax saving and donating it to what he thinks is a better cause to support his charity stuff?

    Really, bottom line is this...I don't care what he does anyway, does his message make sense or not?

    To you, his message would not be palatable even if he were Mother Theresa based on your politics.

    I hear the same type of fallacious argument from Hannity when he attacks RFK Jr. for his environmentalism, because he sometimes travels in a private plane, as if that makes his environmental position wrong...

    Simply fallacious reasoning, as Bono is not using himself as an appeal to authority, nor is he telling others that he is doing so and so with his money, so that others should be like him.

    Typical right wing crap thinking when it comes to issues...attack the messenger when they don't like the message...

    One of the things that always cracks me up is listening to the bumper music of Rush, Hannity and some other right wingers, when they play music between breaks that is either written by liberals or is about liberal causes.

    Does this make their show's message therefore liberal simply because they play bumper music by a liberal?

    It is business, you should know that...

  4. You gotta admit, the comments are just made to make news.
    A "tax justice" lobby group.............oddly, failing to mention how few people receive royalty income, much less a lot of it.

    Conveniently ignoring the fact, most artists end up losing money just to get their work out there........................

    "All arts tax advisors"??
    Hmm, i guess they didnt get the contract huh.

    Heck, if willy nelson had had these guys on his side.......he'd probably still have been ripped off.
  5. Cesko


    Or does he need to be Jesus Christ to talk about charity and the poor and problems around the world.

    Yes, for the same reason you don't teach your kids about non-smoking with a cigarete hanging out of your mouth. It's that simple ZZZ..... No need to spin

    Really, bottom line is this...I don't care what he does anyway, does his message make sense or not?
    To idiots yes.To a thinking person no because he must wonder why this filthy rich guy asks for other people money yet, at the same time, is so unwilling to part with his own.

    Typical right wing crap thinking when it comes to issues...attack the messenger when they don't like the message...
    CRAP. When postman brings me a letter he has nothing to do with message.But especially(!) talking ISSUES messenger and message should be the same. WHY? To make message believable.

    ZZZ... you should call all your posts "SPIN TIME WITH ZZZ..."

    Personally being a right winger of worst degree I don't give a fuck about blacks in Africa. See I cannot afford such a high moral ground standing like Mr. Bono. To my defense though, he is not busy surviving.
  6. Cesko, your full of crap.

    Bono himself, repeatedly, has stated no political figure would listen to him, not that they do, were it not for the fact his band has more media clout that most nationalist propaganda campaigns.

    That makes his band, (not that edge, clayton or mullen would agree its bono's band) worth more than dodo's laying eggs of pure fissile plutonium.

    And as you say, he might not be busy surviving-but the majority of artists are.

    And he's still an artist, U2 is a rarity, succesful artists with something to say, are about as rare as idol contestants with original material.

    I could'nt listen to billy bragg's tuneless, meandering moaning's any more than the next guy, but U2 are not billy bragg.

    Thank f#ck for that.
  7. First off, I wouldn't think that Pabst would be starting a thread like this, given his far right politics. I suppose he hasn't yet told us what he thinks. In this sense, the thread is Z-like, although the title gives a hint.

    Of course, these charges are absurd. There is no contradiction in Bono's efforts to maximize his income vis-a-vis the tax he pays and his demands that governments act more responsibly. To suggest that Bono must pay more tax than he legally has to in order to validate his requests that governments do more than they legally have to is to suggest that you have quantified his efforts in toto and found that he is not acting in as fully altruistic a manner as he possibly could.

    The problem is, 'as fully altruistic as he possibly could' would mean giving over his entire income to charity. Of course no one would suggest that he do this, so where is the line? The line is actually common sense. He spends a hell of a lot of his time travelling around and speaking and lending his name to causes he feels strongly about. He has the guts to speak up when he knows that his politics will alienate him with certain music fans. If every human whose basic needs are met (like all of us) spent a commensurate amount of their private time working on causes like this, how much better would the world be?

    Our demands on Bono, and on every citizen, must be that they act as altruistically as they 'reasonably should' be expected to act, not as altruistically as they 'possibly could'. The tax remedies available to his corporation are legal (I assume) and we should not censure him for taking full advantage of them. I have no problem with Bono's level of altruistic behaviour. I am convinced that he is acting as altruistically as he reasonably should be expected to act, given what I know about his efforts. None of us know how much cash Bono contributes privately.

    The question of how much tax a corporation 'reasonably should' pay, that is, how the tax law should be set up, is a separate issue.
  8. Most traders lose money. Most hoop dreams die on the playground. Most small businesses fail. Most lottery tickets wind up in the garbage. Are you suggesting winners in life owe no taxes because financial accomplishment is rare?
  9. Nice rebuttal, bro!
  10. I bought my first U2 album (October) back in 1981. I like the bands music, image and as a Catholic I've appreciated Bono's referances to Christ in his lyrics. But yes Nick, I find tax avoidance by a member of society who preaches help to Africa via Western taxation to be quite duplicitous. Same with Soros.

    Without being unduly cynical because I doubt publicity has been Bono's primary goal but IMO U2 would be a long forgotten cog in the mega-grossing music landscape if not for Bono "keeping his name out there" via his work as global icon. Thus much of U2's earnings the past decade have been because of Bono's lobbying.

    As Slate reports:

    "Holding children to ransom for the debts of their grandparents ... that's a justice issue. Withholding life-saving medicines out of deference to the Office of Patents ... that's a justice issue.

    And relocating your business offshore in order to avoid paying taxes to the Republic of Ireland, where poverty is higher than in almost any other developed nation? Bono's hypocrisy seems even more naked when you consider that Ireland is a tax haven for artists. In June 2005, Bono (who was born in Dublin) told the Belfast Telegraph:

    Our publishing, which is about one third of our income, we have tax breaks on, and that's great and that's encouraged us to stay in Ireland and if that changes, it's not going to affect anything for U2. ...

    Six months later, Ireland's finance minister announced a ceiling of $319,000 on tax-free incomes, and six months after that, U2 opened its Amsterdam office. The relocation of U2's music publishing will halve taxes on the band's songwriting royalties, which already reportedly total $286 million. Although Bono has declined to comment on the move, the band's lead guitarist, David "the Edge" Evans, said, "Of course we're trying to be tax-efficient. Who doesn't want to be tax-efficient?'" Writing in the Observer, Nick Cohen noted that Evans "sounded as edgy as a plump accountant in the 19th hole."

    U2's tax-shelter scheme caused an uproar in Ireland when the story broke there in August. But it's scarcely raised a ripple in the United States. A conservative would argue that's because in this country, we don't begrudge a man the opportunity to keep what he earns off the sweat of his brow (or even off the sweat of someone else's brow ) … even if that man spends half his time trying to goad governments into spending more to alleviate poverty. But a liberal could answer that in the United States, we are so used to seeing rich people avoid taxation that even a wealthy hypocrite who shelters his cash abroad can no longer qualify as news.

    #10     Jan 28, 2007