There have been two major stories today that we have covered. The failure of the G8 to keep its aid pledges to Africa on the one hand, and Ronaldo being transfered for $130n from Man U to Real Madrid.
We had a long debate about these stories and how to cover them. I argued strongly that they should be juxtaposed – two faces of the world – the hundred million dollar transfer contract for Ronaldo and the poverty and lack of money from G8 countries to meet aid pledges to Africa.
There is no direct connection between these two events – except of course, what they say about us all.
The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has a rough rule of thumb – to be effective their programmes operate on the basis of saving a life costing five thousand dollars.
By that raw number alone the ronaldo transfer fee would save probably 26 thousand lives. That comparison becomes even more extreme when you think the same amount ofmoney would buy 26 MILLION mosquito nets.
It wasn't long before some of senior people suggested I was being unfair making comparisons between governments with aid and companies making profits.
Yup – perhaps this is unfair. It is not an either or situation – and if the money wasn’t spent on Ronaldo it wouldn’t be sent to Africa. I am comparing apples and organes
What I am interested in is what is says about us as a society that can accept both situations and not bristle at either. Market economics may be the best way to run an economy – but it does sometimes produce some very distasteful results. Is it offensive?
Tonight’s profitable moment – KLM has asked its pilots to volunteer and help the company out. More than a 100 of them have signed up for extra duties on their days off. They will work the Lost Baggage department, or check in passengers. They will work in the back offices helping with the paperwork. It should save KLM millions of dollars that would be spent on temporary staff during the busy summer months.
So We asked you tonight what would you do to help your company. Surely in this day and age – it’s all hands to the pump. No-one should be too proud to do any job surely.
Which then made me think what would I do to help out my company. Surely there must something more than just standing here talking on the television. Perhaps a bit of light dusting after the show is over? or maybe running the vaccuum round at the end of the day.
The issue is not whether we will help out our companies but whether they will take advantage of our goodwill. Of course we will all do our bit to save colleagues' jobs – but to do our bit to make shareholders happy when perhaps your own pay and conditions are under threat? Would you do that?
How far will You go?
About Business 360
CNN International's business anchors and correspondents get to grips with the issues affecting world business, and they want your questions and feedback.