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Citizens United was a 2009 court case which stated: "Political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections." Source: SCOTUSblog

I'd like to note a bunch of related research findings.

As Melian noted, most researchers believe campaign spending doesn't impact elections much although opinions do vary. However, the question is not how much campaign spending influences election outcomes, but how much campaign spending influences policy outcomes. If both candidates are changing their positions in response to campaign contributions, this can be a large impact. The more important question then is how much politicians believe campaign spending affects them. Their belief PLUS the actual effect reflects the total change in outcomes.

Research that focuses on policy outcomes rather than electoral outcomes has generally found a very strong effect.

Most of this research is done in the context of rent-seeking. Lobbyists will pay money to have politicans give them a competitive advantage such as a special tax loophole. This has been generally found to be very effective. However, fewer have considered a different possibility. Some of this lobbying may improve the government.

American democracy tends to favor the opinions of the rich. If corporations are making generally smarter decisions than the average voter on the direction of the economy, it is possible the government might improve overall.

And Citizens United has dramatically increased that level of spending. I've recently come to the conclusion this is the most important policy change in the last 10 years. I'm interested in how it will play out.

There is a possibility that there is a finite limit to the total potential influence of lobbying, and voters will always have a certain level of say; however, their share of donations has just been dramatically decreased, effectively to zero.






I must admit I have no idea how reliable is the study I referenced in my comment. Still, since there is nothing wrong with being a hypocrite , Iím going to ruthlessly criticize your sources anyways.



Research that focuses on policy outcomes rather than electoral outcomes has generally found a very strong effect.


This is a purely mathematical model. Mathematical models have their uses but without comparisons to empirical data their chance of correctly describing reality is quite modest.


And Citizens United has dramatically increased that level of spending.


The charts in the articles do show the rise in spending, but it begins before the CU decision.


Now back to our sheep. I'm pretty sure that most people who hire lobbyists know what they are doing. But here is an economic paradox. If most "investors" in politics could get profit on their campaign donations, should not there be more of them? The government budget is measured in trillions, while the campaign spending is smaller by three orders of magnitude.
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melian
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American democracy tends to favor the opinions of the rich. If corporations are making generally smarter decisions than the average voter on the direction of the economy, it is possible the government might improve overall.


Notice how you just conflated "corporations" and "the rich". A lot of the corporations involved in politics are non-profit lobbying organizations, e.g., NRA, ACLU, Citizens United itself, etc.
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VoiceOfRa
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