Sunday, November 02, 2008

Money makes the political world go around

That is the title of an Associated Press article which you can read by clicking Money makes the political world go around. Here is the intro:

"In a presidential race filled with broken barriers, money has shattered far more than its share. Together, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain have amassed nearly $1 billion — a stratospheric number. Depending on turnout, that means nearly $8 for every presidential vote, compared with $5.50 in 2004. Using all that cash, the candidates have traveled more miles, employed more workers and advertised more than ever. But it has been Obama, with his $641 million and 3.2 million donors, who has rewritten the rules for financing campaigns."

Does money matter in politics? Steven Levitt, University of Chicago economics professor and co-author of the book Freaknomics found that maybe money is not so important in winning elections. You can read about that study at McCain, the Media, Money, and Montesinos (and Obama Too).

But another University of Chicago economist Austan Goolsbee is an advisor to Obama. He is probably aware of Levitt's research yet Obama is spending record amounts of money. If a candidate spends that much money they must think it matters.

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