I’ve heard some lamenting that the government isn’t doing more to stop AIDS. Instead, joinred.com is getting a lot of attention for getting retailers involved in donating to the cause. Well, let me share a little secret with everyone: The government is paying for that. Which, by the way, means we’re paying for it (not that I mind).

Don’t believe me? Let me explain:

Does anyone here think all the advertising for this stuff is free? Commercial ads, newspaper ads, well, ads in general, are NOT free. They cost hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars. But because a non-profit usually has no money the TV station or newspaper is listed as a sponsor by donating an ad. Their sponsorship is listed as $1,000 or whatever the cost of an ad would have been. THEN they get to write it off on their taxes as a donation too.

It’s the same for the retailers who have suddenly become so socially responsible. That iPod you bought didn’t actually take a penny out of Apple’s pocket to help AIDS because at the end of the year they’ll get it all back from the government. SO next time you’re lamenting about the government not doing something more, remember that they are doing their part even if they aren’t doing it intentionally.

PS Kudos to Bono for putting this thing together. Say what you want about him, I think it’s a great idea. Now, let’s just hope it works…