On the influence of money in politics

A view of atmosphere during the results of the 2012 presidential election night in Times Square on Nov. 6, 2012 in New York City.

A final note this day after Election Day about the influence of money on politics, and whether buckets full of money helped decide this year's elections.

I mean, you don't spend $100 million -- like Karl Rove and his Republican super PAC American Crossroads did -- without getting something for it, do you? Granted, he had a pretty good time on Fox News last night.

Or Las Vegas magnate Sheldon Adelson and his $53 million spread over six different -- and losing -- GOP candidates running this year.

You ask around on the other side of the aisle, and it's a different story. The Democratic super PAC Priorities USA Action might say it very much got its money's worth for the $67 million it spent on President Obama.

There's been all kinds of talk this cycle about Citizens United, outside money and who can spend how much. But here's the point: We really ought to figure out how we feel about money and politics in this country, 'cause we're doing this whole thing all over again in 1,462 days.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
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I was thinking along the same lines as rovingreporter. All that money went someplace: to voiceover artists, ad agencies, local TV stations, etc. Perhaps the rich will tire of this risky investment and go back to squandering their money on gold toilets.

One benefit of all the spending (which was wasted, IMHO) is that now the 1 percent is that much poorer. That's good for the economy because people who are too rich distort the market for goods; when "ordinary" people don't have enough money to spend, businesses begin to shift more of their output to satisfying the needs of rich people, driving up prices for everyone else and also creating a lot of useless gewgaws that are geared for satisfying the egos of people who have way too much money on their hands and less need to spend a large percentage of it. Furthermore, rich people don't get rich by spending, they get it by persuading other people to buy stuff for them on the other person's dime, or by getting government to give them rebates, loans, and other forms of welfare.

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