Andrew Denton had Bob Geldof on Enough Rope on Monday (transcript here). I found him painful to watch — a man of limited talents who clearly hasn’t had anyone around who was willing to break it to him, and who is unshaken in his egomaniacal confidence that rock music changes the world more than any other force.
Denton also engaged him a little (only a little, since Denton seems to have an aversion for asking follow-up questions) on how Ethiopia has fared since Live Aid. Denton’s assertion was that poverty has risen since 1985; Geldof’s rebuttal was that it had fallen.
Having a mild interest in facts, I thought I’d check. The graph above shows Ethiopia’s GDP per capita from 1980-2000, and world GDP per capita. Ethiopia’s has clearly risen since the Live Aid concert in 1985, but a smidgin slower than the rest of the world. If I were Geldof, I think I’d be a little more modest about the Live Aid effect… but then, I reckon there are about 6 billion people on the planet who are more modest than Sir Bob.