How much? $443,210,038.26 – that’s how much money was spent just on the runoff races for two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia, the most expensive senate race in U.S. history, with other estimates putting this amount at closer to $480 million. At nearly half a billion dollars, it reflects just a small part of the billions of dollars spent on campaign elections every year. And what does this influx of money actually do for the average person?
For comparison, this amount of money could have provided health insurance to 100,000 of the state’s 1.4 million uninsured. It could have paid one month’s rent for nearly half a million Georgians. It could have financed the salary of over 15,000 full time workers at a rate of $15 per hour (nearly three times the minimum wage of Georgia). Instead, it was spent on electing two senators, which is not likely to translate that cash into benefits for the average person. The price of elections is morally repugnant.
In fact the 2020 election cycle saw nine out of the ten most expensive senate races ever – a figure that reflects the priorities of this system. The fact that this much money is injected into an election at a time like this, when economic crisis means millions of poor and working people are struggling just to get by, shows us just how important everyday people are to politicians and the system they uphold. After all, it certainly wasn’t regular working people financing these races – so who will these politicians be beholden to?