“I must remind you that starving a child is violence. Suppressing a culture is violence. Neglecting school children is violence. Punishing a mother and her family is violence. Discrimination against a working man is violence. Ghetto housing is violence. Ignoring medical need is violence. Contempt for poverty is violence.”
— Coretta Scott King (via samirathejerk)
Today we have very little to say – because the whole US Legislative System has collapsed. Folks are up in DC Arguing and Pushing to enter Federal Parkgrounds.
The States are funding the opening of their National Parks and Monuments – since the Federal GOP Legislators have basically said “Fuk You America”.
Get Out the Vote
Politics is fundamentally concerned with economics, but putting a dollar value on politics is very difficult.
What is a vote worth? That depends on the election.
What is the election worth? That depends on the mandate than can be earned.
What is a mandate worth? That depends on the direction the country is headed.
What is changing the direction of the country worth? It is difficult to quantify. Potentially a lot. Potentially everything.
The federal government spends about $615 billion per year on non-defense discretionary programs, or about $10,250 for each of the 60 million voting Americans. That’s $20,500 over a House term, $41,000 over a Presidential term, and $82,000 over a Senator’s term. When you consider the winner-take-all reality of elections, the numbers are even starker. On a proportional basis, each member of the House member represents $1.4 billion of the annual discretionary budget while each Senator represents $6.15 billion.
The swing vote in a competitive election resembles the diffusion of innovation. Influencers are the key. They will help create a tone, a temperature, a zeitgeist that percolates through social connections. Identifying those highly-reputable, open-minded citizens and making a case is the critical activity. Each influential vote is worth many individual votes.
In next year’s congressional elections, 40 House seats and 8 Senate seats are viewed as competitive. That’s a little less than 10% influence in the decision-making body, a little less than $61.5 billion of the discretionary budget.
Reaching 1,000 influencers in a Senate race and just 100 in House race can change the tide. Political parties and news media retain the persistent shrill tone of the campaign. But when relatively disinterested voters begin hearing from trusted personal connections that there is a real upside or downside associated with a particular election, miracles happen. Recognizing the changes in the demographics of influencers and capturing their attention is the basis for a sustainable political competitive advantage.
Think of the federal government as a huge company outlaying some $3.8 trillion per year and taking in about $2.3 trillion in revenue. On average, both of those numbers are compounding by a few percentage points each year. Consider that entire national elections cost hundreds of millions or billions of dollars, and the outcomes of individual elections can be affected by an influx of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. The US campaign system begins to look like a highly-leveraged, relatively low-risk investment the likes of which are impossible to find in other markets.
Isn’t it time someone thought about the Tax Payers ?