Is Money Power?

Over the course of what we have been speaking about a common theme that occurs is does money play a significant role in politics? When speaking about Anti-Federalist and Federalist they both have different views of how our government should be ran and divided. On one side you have the Anti-Federalist who believe in a small government and have hopes that small business owners and rural workers can have a good portion of say in what the government is deciding. On the other hand you have Federalist who want big business to rule and have the ultimate power and final say in matters.

Politics and money pair together because in order to manage a functional campaign you need money and money fuels a majority of how the world operates. There is actually a quote from Michelle Obama saying “Write a big, fat check…Write the biggest, fattest check that you can possibly write.” Which does not surprise me because money has always been a priority. It does not matter which generation you are from political figures have always been of wealth and power.

I am against money being a big part of politics I think that it takes away from equality and does not give everyone the same voice that people would want to be heard. Big businesses should not get an upper hand or have their opinion favored because of the money or power that they hold but by which is right for the entirety as a whole. I do not think that the class or social status of a person should hold them back from getting their point across.

I like to use this presidential election as a prime example as money is power. The current president of the United States President trump is a wealthy individual and there no argument against that. It just so happens that also members of his cabinet are of power and wealth also. Two members of his cabinet have formally ran and operated major companies that dominated their industries. They are apart of a big business type of government in my eyes. Trump was not known for being apart of politics, but for being a business tycoon. He was a business man that knew how to operate and run a successful business. It might be the first time in history where a business oriented person has taken office over a political figure.

This chart above just shows how much that money effects campaigns specifically. More funding for a certain party means more opportunities and more coverage. A lot of donations are not obscene million dollar checks, but of course it turns into a numbers game and the more money the more successful a party can be.

There is a bigger picture for what money does in an election whether its hiring staff members, advertising, or hold a rally in another state. All of that cost money, and with more money there is more that you can do and more to conquer. Even though it would be difficult I think money and politics should be separated and taken in a different direction.

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7 Responses to Is Money Power?

  1. LukaKolomejac says:

    In the Citizens United supreme court decision (January 21, 2010) that allows corporations and labor unions to spend unlimited funds on advocacy for or against political candidates, Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority (5 justices), stated “We now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption and the appearance of corruption”. Justice Stevens, writing for the dissenting justices (4), stated that the ruling “threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the nation” and that “a democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold”. Who is right?

    The Washington Post conducted a poll on Americans opinions on the decision and published its findings in February. Results showed that a large majority oppose the decision from Democrats (85 percent opposed), Republicans (76) and independents (81). As far as public opinion is concerned, independent expenditures made by corporations and other associations creates an appearance of corruption, or at least an unfair advantage.

    Although the majority of Americans disagreed, the supreme court decision was based on the constitution and specifically on the first amendment, which was part of the Bill of Rights. Anti federalists wanted a Bill of Rights because they believed the government was given power that was defined too broadly. The first amendment prohibits Congress from restricting the press to speak freely. What is the press? Justice Keneddy’s opinion noted that the first amendment does not distinguish between media and other corporations. Additionally, the freedom of the press clause protects associations of individuals and the first amendment does not prohibit speech based on the identity of the speaker. Therefore, corporations have free speech rights because they are an association of individuals.

    The reasoning is mostly sound, except that the average worker in a company has no say how their company will engage in political speech. Company executives may want support a certain candidate who is advocating corporate tax cuts, while the companies workers may support the opponent. A corporation does not seem to be a real “association of individuals” in my eyes. Workers have no say in what corporate executives decide. A corporation does not necessarily speak for its association of individuals (it’s workers) and more than likely speaks for the executives over anyone else. The anti federalists did not go into detail on this issue and nobody today could have expected them to think so far in the future. As time goes on more and more issues such as this will aggravate the majority of Americans and will generate calls for constitutional amendments. There are now calls for constitutional amendments on the bill of rights to prohibit corporations from making political expenditures, which is basically an amendment on the current amendments. I call this the anti-anti-federalist movement. While I find the supreme courts verdict on Citizens United compelling and currently correct, I believe there should be an amendment that block certain components of Citizens United and/or mitigate its effects.

  2. dasboot01 says:

    I enjoyed reading your post about money in politics and while I agree that money in politics is overall a bad thing, I don’t think it creates as big of an impact ad people believe. In the most recent election between Trump and Clinton, Clinton outspent Trump with about $ 1.2 billion to about $600 million. In this case Clinton should have the election however obviously that did not happen. Clinton essentially wasted $1.2 billion that could go into the economy and that is a big travesty. The amount of money going into elections is disturbing as these spots are public offices, the people are public servants.
    I believe the federalists and anti federalists would both be disgusted, but I definitely think the anti federalists would be more disappointed. The amount of money going into elections so that people can lobby for their agendas is a problem and we should look at reappealing the Citizens United Act to end vast money in politics.

  3. Ronald Amann says:

    To answer you question,  of course money is power. The purchase or investment power that a person is afforded depends on how much of it he or she possesses.  Naturally,  money will play a part in the political process and in “getting one’s message out.”  After all,  as students of political science,  we probably could not imagine ourselves doing the work of field organizers, canvassers, fundraisers or  campaign managers forever without being compensated.  Similarly,  media ads and yard signs, security people, venues to hold rallies among other things all come with a monetary cost.  This is to be expected,  and it in and of itself is not really all that problematic.  The crises we face in American politics as stated by the first person who commented on your blog is the unlimited amounts of funds that corporations and individuals are allowed to spend to directly influence our elections. This as previously stated,  is a consequence of the Citizen’s United ruling.
    There is nothing wrong with private citizens giving reasonable donations to campaigns, and unchanged by the ruling,  corporations are still banned from giving money to political candidates directly. The travesty of the  Citizen’s United 5-4 decision was that it paved the way for Super PACS (Political Action Committees), organizations who now corporations and private individuals (some whom have extraordinary wealth) can now give unlimited amounts of money to.  While federal law prohibits Super PACS from giving money to the campaigns of political candidates directly,  the Super PACS in theory go to work for or against the politician they either want to see get elected or they want to see be defeated.  According to,  during the 2016 Presidential election,  Super PACS raised a total of$1,791,027,147 and had expenditures of $1,061,703,002. Also according to, the campaigns of Hillary Clinton spent only $565 million, compared with the $322 million spent by the campaign of Donald Trump (he personally contributed another 65 on top of that). While it can be argued that most presidential candidates do have some considerable wealth, it is really Super PACS that have the have the power to influence elections. And it is not just corporations that have the power to influence elections though donations to Super PACS. Contributions from billionaires such as George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, the Rickett Family, and Sheldon Adelson, who has with his wife donated over 92 million to Super PACS, since the 2010 decision. I too, agree with the other commenter that for the sake of our country’s democratic elections, there should be some limitation placed on contributions to these organizations by corporations and wealthy donors. While it would be interesting to hear where the anti-federalists and federalists of the late 1700’s would stand on this issue of money in politics, I can only assume that they did not have any idea of just how large corporations would get and just how much wealth a very small class of individuals would be able to accumulate, and just how much power they would be able to purchase as a result of it.

  4. ghostcole says:

    Money is power and it has always played a large role in politics. The top 1 percent in the United States are the richest and they play a role in politics. As much as I would also like to see that the government would not be influenced by money but since the government needs to keep that one percent satisfied it will always be influenced by the richest. It is also an unfair system lower and middle class do pay more taxes then those in the upper class. All the inequality in the economic system is due to the fact that the one percent wants to keep it that way. Does the one percent notice how the economic system i affecting the rest of the population they live in a different world they have the best of everything it does not only include the best house and cars but also the best health care and education do they know the fate they are setting to the rest of the population or will it be to late once they finally see how the system is ruining those in the lower ranks.

  5. ennausa says:

    Your post is very interesting and I think it is important to talk about money in politics. Indeed, money plays an important role in elections and in politics in general. It is the law of the strongest (and the richest) and the anti-federalists understood this well. They did not want the government to dominate society and take all the decisions. This concept of money, however, will seem to suit federalists who, as you specify in the article, want a “big business” in order to have the maximum power.
    I share your opinion that it is not fair that the companies that have a lot of money can influence elections as well. Everyone does not have the same financial possibilities in life and the goal of a democracy is that every individual is equal. Now, with your example, this is not the case because the one with money dominates.
    The two charts are very interesting too, because we can see that the amount of money quadrupled in 30 years! So, could we conclude that the richest man on earth could be a president through his fortune, even having no experience?
    I would also like to add that in other countries money is limited in politics. There is a maximum allowed for the presidential campaign and in no case, it can be exceeded, otherwise the candidate is no longer allowed to take part to the election. This initiative seems to me to be more appropriate because even if the money remains important, its power is limited by strict rules.

  6. courtneymonus says:

    Money has a huge impact when it comes to politics. People who donate large amounts of money to a politician get the security that if that person wins, they will get a say in what happens. In the case with President Trump, there are people that he has appointed positions to who donated large amounts of money to his campaign. Instead of people voting, these large companies can influence the elections and what the politician does once they are in office. I agree with your statement that money should be taken out of politics. The reason I believe this is that a lot of politicians are endorsed by coal companies. They benefit from them not doing anything about climate change and saying that gas is a good power source. I think that the people who donate end up having more power than the person who is actually in charge because the politician wants to make sure that they keep their donators happy. I unfortunately think that this is just going to become more of a problem as time goes on, but I do not see these two things separating any time soon.

  7. Ivan Delgado says:

    I agree, i feel that money is a big factor when it comes to politics and even the regular world. If we look at the facts we can see how even in the business world we classify people based on their wealth and position. We constantly see people on the street look down on homeless people because they’re dirty or they smell bad simply because they have no money, an addiction, or maybe suffer from mental illness. In my personal opinion i feel that people forget about the fact that we are all human. This concept of money and having lots of it has affected society and divided us. I agree that if you work hard for the things you want you deserve to be compensated. However, i also believe that no amount of money or even the highest level of power does not give you the right to be negative and discriminate others simply because they don’t have the things you do. there’s a saying i live by which reads, ” you can be a king or a street sweeper, but everyone dances with the grim reaper.” I do agree that money has caused a lot of uproar within this nation and i agree it’s time for a change.

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