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U2 singer Bono says he realized commerce and capitalism help poor people, not the redistribution of resources
Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images

U2 singer Bono says he realized commerce and capitalism help poor people, not the redistribution of resources

Bono, the lead singer of U2, said that he has realized the redistribution of resources won't help poor people the way that commerce and entrepreneurial capitalism will help them.

The iconic musician and humanitarian made the comments during an interview with the New York Times published Monday. He talked about starting out as a left-wing activist but eventually realizing that capitalism helps the most poor people.

"I ended up as an activist in a very different place from where I started. I thought that if we just redistributed resources, then we could solve every problem. I now know that’s not true," Bono explained.

"There’s a funny moment when you realize that as an activist: The off-ramp out of extreme poverty is, ugh, commerce, it’s entrepreneurial capitalism," he added. "I spend a lot of time in countries all over Africa, and they’re like, eh, we wouldn’t mind a little more globalization actually. I would point out that there has been a lot of progress over the years."

He went on to point out that businesspeople are heroes because they bring jobs to communities.

"Capitalism is a wild beast. We need to tame it," Bono said. "But globalization has brought more people out of poverty than any other -ism. If somebody comes to me with a better idea, I’ll sign up. I didn’t grow up to like the idea that we’ve made heroes out of businesspeople, but if you’re bringing jobs to a community and treating people well, then you are a hero. That’s where I’ve ended up."

He also said he doesn't like seeing people wear shirts with the visage of Che Guevara, the communist fighter who helped a dictatorship seize control of Cuba.

"I still don’t like Che Guevara T-shirts. [Expletive] Che Guevara," he said.

In a video he published about his charity work, Bono expressed similar sympathy to business and commerce.

"[We have a] snobby attitude about business and big business, we sort of demonize it," he said. "And actually, you know, you go to the developing world and jobs are the most dignifying thing that you could offer somebody. Because people have work, they can sort out their own problems."

Here's more from Bono about commerce solving poverty:

Bono: Ending poverty is the ONE thing we can all agree onwww.youtube.com

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