How much does a presidential race cost business interests these days in comparison to what it costs the US Treasury? A whole lot more. Circa one billion dollars per candidate according to Joe Nocera in today’s NYT (A 23). And this is without counting super PACs and 501(c)4s, which I (we) can’t even estimate. The latter probably involve several billion dollars more for each presidential candidate (please correct me). Money laundering on a big scale. What do big interests (whose scale is tens and hundreds of billions) get in return for those modest amounts? Well, one of the people mentioned by Nocera is clear on the issue: a product. Bopp Jr. Esq. from Terre Haute speaks of politics as a market. He speaks of spending money as he sees fit as exercising freedom of choice. He, the buyer, is of course discriminating, which he sees as the essence of democracy. The more money, the more discriminating in his choices. Indeed. Democracy as a product, presidents for sale—not only congress—and 47% of us, soon more, as dead weight. The Supreme Court agrees.
The real issues are not debated. The rationality of universal health care, in terms of general budgeting for a nation? Will we spend 20% of GDP soon on health? And how much health, if life expectancy is dramatically dropping for instance for people working for unsecured, temp, low-paid jobs? The answer is given on the same page of the NYT by the new pro-Romney Brooks who giddily applauds the continuation of massive capital transfers to insurance, banking, hospital, and pharmaceutical industry, in the guise of a hypocritical call to moral conscience. Regulation of the banking industry? A better-supported public education? How much defense spending, and what do we call defense? None of this gets debated at all. Health and defense, particularly, are complete irrational constructs at the moment. Yes, they are a most important source of employment and great wealth. But how long can a modern nation sustain this kind of distortions before it all comes crashing down?