Author Topic: Are Corporations People?  (Read 4709 times)

Michael Slusser

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Re: Are Corporations People?
« Reply #60 on: December 13, 2011, 11:32:40 PM »
There is a vastly diminishing return for money in politics, or so it seems to me. Most people on this board had reasons for voting the way they did that had nothing to do with money or campaign mailings, commercials, robocalls, etc. For example, I'm am nigh on certain I won't be voting to re-elect Obama. How much money would he have to raise to change my mind? He could buy a full page ad in every paper every day, run a commercial on every commercial break on every channel from now until election day, have high priced pollsters in every precinct in the country and generally spend campaign money like he spends taxpayer money and I still wouldn't vote for him. And I'm sure a lot of Democrats will vote for Obama no matter how much the GOP guy has to spend. A candidate needs a critical amount of money in order to have name recognition and some pushing of your talking points in every market. Once he has that, what does more money buy him?

It is expensive, but once you reach a certain threshold the return on more money diminishes to next to nothing. Think of it this way. If you had to throw the absolute greatest dinner party ever for twenty guests, it would be very expensive. Fancy wines, the best sea food, fine china, waiters serving rare appetizers cooked by the finest chefs, a string quartet perhaps. The costs would be astronomical. Now say you have a million dollars to throw this meal, but it can only be spent on this meal, nothing permanent like home improvements. What would someone with ten times that amount be able to do to make his meal better than your million dollar meal? He could probably think of something to do with the money, but it wouldn't make much difference in how good the meal was. Maybe he would have solid gold napkin holders or something. Once you have a million dollars to spend on a meal, a million more dollars is pretty much irrelevant. And once you have the federal matching funds maximum threshold, I'm not sure what you can do with more money to buy votes. 
 

If he were in the 1%, he would probably be lauded for creating jobs!  ;D ;D

As for political advertising, the appetite for more money is unrestricted, so don't worry about those guys. Some one will always be happy to honor their free speech--a kind of free speech that you and I do not enjoy, U.S. Constitution or not.

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

George Erdner

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Re: Are Corporations People?
« Reply #61 on: December 13, 2011, 11:36:02 PM »
There is a vastly diminishing return for money in politics, or so it seems to me. Most people on this board had reasons for voting the way they did that had nothing to do with money or campaign mailings, commercials, robocalls, etc. For example, I'm am nigh on certain I won't be voting to re-elect Obama. How much money would he have to raise to change my mind? He could buy a full page ad in every paper every day, run a commercial on every commercial break on every channel from now until election day, have high priced pollsters in every precinct in the country and generally spend campaign money like he spends taxpayer money and I still wouldn't vote for him. And I'm sure a lot of Democrats will vote for Obama no matter how much the GOP guy has to spend. A candidate needs a critical amount of money in order to have name recognition and some pushing of your talking points in every market. Once he has that, what does more money buy him?

It is expensive, but once you reach a certain threshold the return on more money diminishes to next to nothing. Think of it this way. If you had to throw the absolute greatest dinner party ever for twenty guests, it would be very expensive. Fancy wines, the best sea food, fine china, waiters serving rare appetizers cooked by the finest chefs, a string quartet perhaps. The costs would be astronomical. Now say you have a million dollars to throw this meal, but it can only be spent on this meal, nothing permanent like home improvements. What would someone with ten times that amount be able to do to make his meal better than your million dollar meal? He could probably think of something to do with the money, but it wouldn't make much difference in how good the meal was. Maybe he would have solid gold napkin holders or something. Once you have a million dollars to spend on a meal, a million more dollars is pretty much irrelevant. And once you have the federal matching funds maximum threshold, I'm not sure what you can do with more money to buy votes. 
 

Sorry, but the comparison doesn't work. First, the basic rule of thumb is that 40% of the voters are going to vote Democrat, no matter what, and 40% are going to vote Republican, no matter what. It's that other 20% that make the difference. Advertising will sway those folks in the middle, most of whom have no convictions one way or another, and whose decision process often involves flipping a coin.
 
Media campaigns to reach those people have to take into account how there is no real "mass" media in America any more. Saturate the major TV networks with ads, and large blocs of people won't see your ads at all. So, if the candidate has enough money, he'll also use all of the various cable TV networks to reach even more people. And then there's radio. It's not like a dinner party with only 20 guests. It's more like a dinner party where no matter how much you spend, there will always be even more prospective diners that you can invite or deliver a plate to.
 
What I find unfathomable is that so many people are so stupid that they'll believe candidates' lies if they hear them repeated often enough.
 

Michael Slusser

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Re: Are Corporations People?
« Reply #62 on: February 16, 2012, 01:30:34 PM »
There's a states' rights challenge in this area. Three corporations have challenged a century-old Montana "Corrupt Practices" statute that limits corporations' spending in election campaigns. The state is fighting back, defending its rights to have and enforce that law.

From SCOTUSBlog:
At issue in a pending case is the fate of a century-old Montana law that imposes a flat ban on corporations’ spending of their internal funds to try to influence elections.  The state’s opposition brief can be found here.http://sblog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/11A762-AG-response-2-15-12.pdf

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian