Why We Love Celebrity Activists

Oxfam is launching a celebrity ad campaign to fight agricultural subsidies. Poverty-conscious stars will be doused in ag products like coffee, milk, cocoa, and sugar; among the dumped on are Coldplay's Chris Martin (who is very confused), Colin Firth, and Minnie Driver. Sez Ms. Driver:

"People think more aid will help, but it won't....Trade is the surest way of decreasing the savage amount of poverty in our world. These countries have got to be able to trade fairly."

Scary times. What if Hollywood activists all started making sense? Happily, her decision to be dumped with cotton seems decidedly half-assed:

Ms. Driver said she chose that agricultural product because she needed to remain relatively clean after her photograph, since she was in the middle of a press tour for a London play.

Via Samizdata.

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  • ||

    Is this for real? Tell me this is for real.

    When celebrities understand economics, anything is possible.

  • ||

    I can't help but be suspicious whenever someone advocate "Fair Trade", since it almost involves intervention aimed at inflating prices above the market-clearing rate under the guise of social-justice.

    That said, I have no problem with people choosing to pay an extra dime for the "Fair Trade" branded coffee, as long as it's voluntary.

  • ||

    I also can't help but be suspicious of posters who aren't bothered to preview and edit out their numerous spelling errors and omissions.

  • ||

    It's about time these lefty freaks realized that it's the American farmer who's the real problem.

    Wonder if they can get John Mellencamp to jump on board?

  • the regulator||

    This week's Time magazine has a blurb on Colin Firth's involvement. Apparently he's an investor in a chain of coffee shops that sell "fair trade" coffee.

  • ||

    Actually, the first link about Martin suggests he's not entirely confused about the effects overseas of subsidizing ag in the US. Only partially confused!

  • ||

    How about dumping cow manure on them? That's an agricultural product too ...

  • ||

    This is for real, the old grey lady had a story on this last week -- good for Oxfam and stars them, the more attention and money they put into this, the less on the other bad stuff on their agenda

  • ||

    Where the hell were these people when those Live8 yahoos were prancing about?

    Also, don't forget to blame the EU farmer, as well as the American farmer. Although I suspect the American farmer will let subsidies go quicker than the Euros...the French will let those subsidies go when they slip through their cold, dead fingers.

    Also, Minnie Driver is hot, even when covered with ag products.

  • ||

    Happily, her decision to be dumped with cotton seems decidedly half-assed

    She didn't want to get messy. That seems sensible, actually.

  • ||

    The NYT story featured a beautiful picture of REM's M Stipe getting milk dumped om him. M Driver covered in milk would be NSFW.

  • ||

    a beautiful picture of REM's M Stipe

    Well, beautiful in that it reminds you he looked better with hair. ;)

    (I say this as a man who's been bald and concluded that he looked much better with hair.)

  • ||

    Well, at least they got the right thing that's bad about the US and other Western nations, too bad other economic ideas completely slip them, like that of comparitive advantage. I guess this is somewhat like how it was in the early 19th century when other "liberal," soft-headed artists, like Percy Shelley, supported free trade and lower taxes.

  • ||

    Martin does seem a bit addled: subsidies for American farms BOO, but tax-supported $1.2 million pork-barrel infrastructure projects for Ghana farmers, YAY! Subsidies are only bad if they're American subsidies. Oh, OK.

  • ||

    I'm glad that those Hollywood liberals finally support a market-oriented reform. Too bad that the conservatives in the Bush admin and GOP Congress no longer care about free trade.

    I guess the way it works is that free trade sentiment is a conserved quantity: If it grows on the left it must decline on the right, and vice-versa.

  • billiam||

    yeah,these hollywood activitists are just as dumb as the people that live in third world countries. Why don't they just accept the fact that they're just dumb peasants and put their economic controls and state industries in the hands of corporations and investors. They always know and look out for what's best for everyone!

    Look at the huge prosperity visited upon Russia after the collapse of communism and the institution of a free market system!

  • ||

    She didn't want to get messy.

    I don't know who Minnie Driver is, but clearly she's not an actress of the same magnitude as, say, Ann-Margaret. There was a babe who knew that if the scene required her to jump into a vat of Heinz beans and hug a giant hot dog, well, so be it.

  • ||

    billiam you're an ignorant slut.

  • ||

    Billiam,
    You have to really stretch the definition of free market to include the Russian economy.

  • ||

    As confused as Chris Martin might be, that article from the Globalization institute was much worse. Apparently, they believe that if Ghanan farmers can't compete with subsidised food from Europe and the US they should just curl up and die. Oxfam is right to expose the hypocrisy of a system that allows billions of dollars in subsidies to be spent in Europe and the US and prevents a few million from being spent in Ghana.

  • ||

    I would be willing to have Minnie Driver dumped on me to fight poverty, even if she was slightly messy.

  • ||

    "Where the hell were these people when those Live8 yahoos were prancing about?"

    This is such an ignorant statement, I about to puke. Many of them WERE the Live8 yahoos, and were saying exactly the same thing then.

    Maybe you shouldn't get ALL of your information about a movement from people seeking to disparage that movement.

    Mikhail, true, the Russian klelptocracy is not what libertarians mean by "free market." It is, however, the predictable outcome of the anti-government, plutocratic policies recommended by the Right Free Traders. There's a difference.

  • ||

    Mikhail, true, the Russian klelptocracy is not what libertarians mean by "free market." It is, however, the predictable outcome of the anti-government, plutocratic policies recommended by the Right Free Traders. There's a difference.

    Nonsense. You could hardly call Putin's cronyism "small government". The current situation in Russia is what you get when a government that is used to power over individuals forced to reform due to the extreme poverty its policies have caused. They might introduce freedoms for big corporations (subject to being friendly with the president) but it's not going to let any power go unless it's forced to.

    The same is happening in China.

  • ||

    Mikhail, true, the Russian klelptocracy is not what libertarians mean by "free market." It is, however, the predictable outcome of the anti-government, plutocratic policies recommended by the Right Free Traders. There's a difference.

    Nonsense. You could hardly call Putin's cronyism "small government". The current situation in Russia is what you get when a government that is used to power over individuals is forced to reform due to the extreme poverty its policies have caused. It might introduce freedoms for big corporations (subject to being friendly with the president) but it's not going to let any power go unless it's forced to.

    The same is happening in China.

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