Friday, January 22, 2010

Money Money Machine...

Yesterday, the US Supreme Court expanded "corporate personhood" and allowed unlimited spending on political campaigns (but not for politicians). Like most change in politics, this news brought lots of's the end of the world and Exxon is going to buy all politicians from here to Timbuktu. I'm not so sure. As highlighted in Marginal Revolution, from a paper by Stephen Ansolabehere, John de Figueireido, and James Snyder.
Finally, we illustrate that when one controls for unobserved constituent and legislator effects, there is little relationship between money and legislator votes. Thus, the question is not why there is so little money politics, but rather why organized interests give at all. 
Now there are some problems with this paper because it only accounts for direct campaign contributions (from individuals, PACs, etc...) and doesn't address 507 spending. Nevertheless, the study holds true with my experience of politics. At the end of the day we still have one vote for one person. The hyperventilaters assume that people are idiots. I don't think they are idiots and I don't think this is the end of the world.

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