03 August 2012

“One of the great mistakes is to judge 
policies and programs by their intentions 
rather than their results.” 
    ― Milton Friedman

Want to know what upsets me?

In the last month, Republicans spent something on the order of twenty-five million dollars on negative campaign ads. I don’t have the numbers on what the Democrats (or anyone else) spent, but I’d bet it is comparable.

Twenty-five million dollars. When we’re so accustomed to hearing our politicians discuss billions, it doesn’t sound like much, does it? However, here’s what twenty-five million dollars can buy (each item represents the full twenty-five million):

  • 52 weeks’ worth of food for 4,800 families of six;
  • 4 years of state college education for 658 students;
  • 150 houses that cost $165,000 (fully paid, no mortgage)
  • 505 30% down payments on $165,000 houses (fixed rate mortgage)
  • nearly 14,000 monthly bus passes for a whole year
  • more than 83,000 bicycles
  • about 12,500 motor scooters
  • $100 worth of shoes for 250,000 people
  • 294,000 polio vaccinations
  • 272,000 tDAP vaccinations
  • 500,000 textbooks (at $50 each)
You can do the match and double up the numbers, assuming the Democrats spent a comparable amount in the same period.

Instead of getting food, clothing, shelter, education, and health care, however, we got treated to 30-second and 1-minute compilations of lies, innuendo, hearsay, and misdirection – and all of it promising that the sponsoring party is going to do right by us.

It really makes me sick, not just angry. It also tires me mightily, knowing that a very large number of people will go to the polls this November and vote from fear, paranoia, jealousy, bigotry, classism, and gender inequity. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to find something better to do with my vote this year, even if it means I have to cast it for somebody that NOBODY thinks has a chance of securing office. I’m going to pay attention to who spends money on negative advertising, who is saying one thing and doing another, and who consistently votes against my best interests. 

If I see them do it even once, it’s too much.

Excuse me. I want to review the last term’s output, and assign some blame to the offending incumbents and seekers. It’s richly deserved.


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