Fueled by Billionaires, Political Spending Shatters Records Again
If you’ve ever spent a little time on Twitter, you’ve likely noticed that there are a lot of people who want to buy things, or otherwise want to help others. It’s not a new phenomena, in fact, according to the Washington Post, at least a quarter (24%) of the politicians who have been elected this year have received money from people who also have an interest in the outcome of government policy.
Of course, there’s never been anywhere near as much money spent on politics per person in the US as we’ve seen in the last few election cycles. After all, who would vote for a candidate who can’t even beat the minimum wage, let alone the president’s salary?
This is perhaps one of the best examples yet of how our economy is shaped by the way people choose to spend their money. Not only does money have the power to influence people, but it’s also the simplest way to build large and persistent groups of people, from the small cadre that supports Sanders to the huge army supporting Trump.
And, of course, there’s a reason for the money.
Money, like power and influence, is the most important weapon any citizen has against an elite that has successfully used them for hundreds of years. The point of a democracy isn’t necessarily to give each citizen the absolute power to do whatever they want, but instead to give the average citizen the ability to make their vote count by holding the elite’s power to account.
So why does all this money seem to still matter after the recent elections?
There are four main reasons, which I’ll discuss in greater detail below. The one that seems most important, however, is this: money can be used to buy time.
There is a famous study done by a few people over 30 years ago, where they asked people participating in a stock market-trading program what the most important asset each one of them owned was. They then asked people what their second most important asset was. The people responded to the