The Number One Way To Buy What Will Be The Number One Album In The United States

04/08/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • James Boyce Senior Advisor, John Kerry's Presidential Campaign, (RED) Digital Strategist, Founder CommonSense.Agency

With the needs of the world, and the worlds of the needy, increasing just as our collective ability to support them and aid them plummets, I have a few thoughts.

First, as we watch much of the western world collapse, primarily and really quite simply, under the weight of unsustainable debt, and surely it is personal hardship to many, I believe that in our economic trials we have lost the basic understanding between want and need.

Our country, even in these tough times, has so much more, so much more than so much of the world, and we certainly have challenges, for example how is it possible that over 30 million Americans need foodstamps? However, as you read this and make it through your day, cutting back perhaps but still making it through, please don't forget that 4,000 men and women in Africa will die of AIDS today because they don't have access to 42 cents worth of medicine, life-saving drugs, available but not given.

Now imagine if, within the understandable culture of cutbacks and the economic crisis, we send less, not more, money to save lives in Africa. The numbers of the daily dead will start to climb back up, for what? So we can buy bigger houses again? I'm not sure I agree with that.

There are lots of ways you can help those less fortunate here and abroad. But today, let me give you just one. It reflects Product (RED) - a brand of creative capitalism I fully agree with. As envisioned by Bono and Bobby Shriver and supported by companies such as The Gap, Dell Computer and in this example, Starbucks, the thinking behind Product (RED) says that if you are going to buy something, why not buy something that helps others.

Today's example is U2's new album, "No Line On The Horizon." By this time next week, it will be the number one album in America.

I'm not telling you to buy it, but IF you are going to buy it, here's the ask. Buy it at Starbucks and they will give $1 of every album sold to The Global Fund. One dollar for every album sold, or two days of life and some change left over for every album sold.

Now, nasty troll commenters, spare me two things.

One, I am not advocating consumerism. I am saying that if you, music fan, are going to buy the album, please consider buying it at Starbucks at the same price as you'll find it other places, but in this case, it will help those suffering from AIDS in Africa.

Second, spare me the St. Bono comments and crap like that. There will be twenty or thirty number one albums in America this year, are all the artists giving away a dollar? No. If they did, a lot of charities would be in better shape I can tell you that.

For whom much is given, much is expected and to his credit, Bono, and many others who have been blessed with talent and success, give back. When they do, the only appropriate response is thank you.