He’s a Hollywood actor, producer and director, but Ben Affleck will be living beneath his means in a big way.
The Oscar winner, 40, is joining Josh Groban, Debi Mazar, Sophia Bush and “The Avengers” star Tom Hiddleston and getting involved with the Live Below the Line campaign, which encourages people to live on $1.50 per day for five days, from April 29 to May 3.
“1.4 billion people live on less than $1.50/day,” Affleck tweeted. “I’m joining Live #BelowTheLine on behalf of @easterncongo. Will you?”
With all due respect, it’s pretty easy to live for five days on $1.50 a day when you live in the United States. As a matter of fact, if you live in New York City you can have the online-grocer Fresh Direct deliver a five-pound bag of rice right to your home for $6.19, well under the $7.50 Affleck has budgeted for his 5-day-stunt. Or, if you think you need more than a pound of rice per day to live, go with a friend to Walmart and pick up a 20 pound bag for about $12. That gives you and your socially-conscious pal 10 pounds each for only $6. That’s roughly a diet of 3200 calories per day, well above the recommended daily allowance. But if you go with the two-pounds-of-rice-a-day regimen, please plan some exercise so you don’t gain weight during your five-day sacrifice.
But is Ben Affleck sacrficing at all?
Let’s look at it step-by step:
First, Ben Affleck will drive to a grocery store and purchase his rice. At the store, his rice will be fresh and free of contaminants like insects, leaves and animal waste. Next he’ll cook his rice on a stove, powered by either natural gas or electricity and use clean water from his tap that won’t give him any diseases. Any leftover rice can be stored in Affleck’s refrigerator which will keep the uneaten portion from spoiling and will allow the Oscar winner to eat his $1.50 a day worth of food at his leisure. And if his kitchen gets too hot while cooking his rice, he can always turn up the air conditioning in his home to make his sacrifice more comfortable.
Hypocrisy, they name is Ben Affleck along with the rest of these H’Wood clowns.
It may make the uber-wealthy in this country fee better to live like those in Congo for a whopping five days, but if they really want to help the poorest of the poor, there are other issues to address like making sure there is access to electricity and clean water. Bjørn Lomborg put it quite nicely in his Earth Day op-ed:
Poor countries should have the same opportunity to develop — so they, too, can have clean drinking water and switch to cleaner energy sources, instead of using dung and twigs for fuel.
We can also directly intervene in poor countries. Many charitable organizations are involved in solving these problems by improving access to clean water and sanitation. By addressing these challenges, we do far more good for our planet.
Maybe I’m wrong and Ben Affleck is using dung and river-water to cook his rice just like the people he wants to help in Congo. If so, I’ll gladly correct my post.