The American elections of 2014 cost 3.7 billion dollars. This certainly seems like a lot of money, although given the scale; it isn’t as high as it sounds even in isolation. However, Americans spent an astonishing seventy-eight billion dollars on lottery tickets in the exact same year, which easily makes the cost of the elections seem trivial by comparison. Movies cost Americans 10.9 billion dollars in 2014. Some people might take this as a sign that American culture simply isn’t political enough, and that Americans need to spend more time focusing on politics and less time focusing on the entertainment that they use in order to escape into an alternate reality.
However, what these figures truly demonstrate is the simple fact that political elections in America are expensive, but not as expensive as they could be and not as expensive as they would have to be in order to make campaign finance reform the most important issue in American politics. The election for the President of the United States is still very important, and political elections are only going to happen every so often even in a democracy. People might disagree on how much anyone should spend on this sort of thing, but most people are still going to agree that the elections are more important than lottery tickets.
Really, one of the primary concerns here is the fact that presidents are automatically going to have to be wealthy individuals, with or without campaign contributions. However, this has more or less always been the case in American politics, even before the days of a mass media or all of the other factors that have made this problem so tremendous today.
The 2016 campaigns are promising to be some of the most expensive ones on record. Campaign finance reform is certainly an important issue for people to talk about, and it does certainly raise some interesting dilemmas for all of the people involved with American society. However, much like public debt is an important issue that gets too much exposure, campaign finance reform is an issue that tends to overshadow some of the more important matters that should be on the table. Campaign finance reform needs to be discussed, as does public debt. However, private debt is still more important.