Money buying elections
There's a lot of scare mongering amongst the left on how much money (especially evil corporations) is corrupting the political process.
- we spend more on Halloween in one year than both side's spend on elections every 4 (502,000 elected officials in the United States)
- the gross majority of money going into elections isn't "corruption" -- it's only when it's targeted for a particular cause (that you disagree with), all the contributions are going to one side, and they sway a particular cause,, that most people think it is corruption. Do you really think cancer awareness money, or money going to protect civil liberties, is to corrupt the system?
- Democrat geographies dominate contributions: metros like DC, NYC, SF, Chicago, LA, Boston, contribute more than the rest of the country combined. DC, NY and California top the State's list.
- Corporate donations have been trending down since Citizens United ruling (not up), corps usually split their donations around 50/50 (dems/repubs), though more going to incumbents, and just looking out for anti-business proposals that hurt them (and their employees, investors and customers). So most of that can't be called corruption or buying elections
- Union contributions are about 90/10 dem/repub, showing that they're far more likely to advance crony capitalism and corrupting the process (and democrats) than Corporations are (assuming you think there should be any balance in democracy).
- Unions target things that help unions: anti-competion, anti-trade, anti-immigration agendas. (Remember, almost every anti-immigration program was created and funded by labor and progressives).
- Top 12 individual contributions total $177M -- $125M went to Democrats (≈70%), Koch is #10 and Soros is #12 on the list with $5M and $4M respectively, of the $7B raised -- though both are contributing more through their charities and organizations.
- In top organizations that contribute it's even worse, 8 of the top 10, and 16 of the top 20 are Democrat (1 of the remainder, National Organization of Realtors, is split evenly amongst party): most organized/special interest money goes to democrats.
- The large/small donation split is about 50/50 -- but again, Unions and special interest are over-represented in the large donations category, and both strongly favor Democrats. Most people don't think small donators are the problem.
- Hillary out-raised and out-spent Trump 2:1 and lost.
- Perot, Bloomberg and Steyer (all billionaires) tried to buy an election and they didn't come close to a win. Mini-Mike Bloomberg threw $500M at the election, and the only thing he won was American Samoa.
So if money is the problem, and we should "follow the money", we should remember where the money is going (and for what causes). Especially big money, special interest money, and ones that's going to only one side (and not contributing to both). That means Corporations aren't the problem: they contribute relatively little, mostly to both sides, have more transparency, are not contributing in large blocks, and most corporations have counter-balances (Green Energy companies counter-balances Big Oil, Organic food movement counter-balances GMO's, and so on).
Unions/Democrats/Special Interest issues are a far bigger problem: they contribute more, to only one side, their contributions are more opaque, they have a history of corruption and abuse, their agenda is anti-consumer/public, it comes in larger donations (though Obama and Sanders are exceptions) and there's fewer counter-balances.
But I know, I'm letting logic and facts get in the way of a far left talking point.