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Politics and Money

My favorite class this semester has been one in the law school called "Non-litigation Strategies for Social Change." I enjoy it because we discuss how to change the system without going to court.

There's a lot of focus on community organizing and the effectiveness of nonprofits. In preparation for today's class, I read this paragraph:

It is much easier to document the amount of money being contributed than to account for its influence. We have no way of knowing for sure whether any group's contribution made a difference in an election. Likewise, interpreting the influence of money on votes in Congress is always a matter of inference.

I don't know if I believe this, no matter how well Berry and Wilcox make their case. In a democratic and capitalist society, lots of things work well and people can theoretically make infinite amounts of wealth for themselves. But, there are two glaring disadvantages:

  1. When it's good, it's good, but when it's bad, it's terrible.
  2. Everything becomes tied to money.

We like to think that everything is all about sex. Maybe it is, but it's only because sex sells. Churches are about money, education is about money, and politics is about money. So while the effectiveness of political money make not be measured in terms of effectiveness (the bang for your buck), the influence is no less real.

Welcome to America, where if you try real hard, you'll be able to buy anything. Even votes.

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