The Economic Case for Holding Elections Every Year

More

You want stimulus? How about some midterm stimulus. House and Senate campaign spending will break $2 billion this year -- or $4 million for every congressional seat -- according to the Public Campaign Action Fund. Throw in a few high-octane governor races, and you're talking about real money.

Dan Gross says forget about quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve. Let's have more quantitative electioneering. The case for elections every year (in a down economy, at least):

Meg Whitman is doing Bloomberg one better. In her bid to replace Arnold Schwarzenegger as California's governor, the former EBay CEO has already plowed $140 million into the Golden State's stricken economy. One can only hazard a guess as to how much higher California's unemployment rate (12.4 percent in September) would be without Whitman.

In Connecticut, where I live, another CEO is having an even greater proportional impact. Former WWE CEO Linda McMahon through mid-October had spent more than $41 million of her own money on a Senate campaign -- about $25 for every voting age adult in the state. McMahon is single-handedly boosting Connecticut's office and retail vacancy rates by renting out storefronts, and has saturated the airwaves with ads the way Starbucks has saturated Seattle.

This doesn't take into consideration the cooling effect that upcoming elections can have on major legislative action (note the dearth of stimulus bills, or congressional compromise, in the last six months), but it's entertaining nonetheless. Read the full story at Yahoo.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In