I’m with Kevin in hoping that Harvard Law merely hosts Jim Moore’s Weblog. Further, I’d say Moore understands economics much less well than he understands politics. His proposal:
Moveon.org has about two million registered members. If half of themÃ¢€”one million membersÃ¢€”gave just $1000 each, this would add up to a BILLION DOLLARS. If we did this for Dean or for another progressive candidate it would certainly change the political landscape. OK, so dial me back a bitÃ¢€”letÃ¢€™s say that a million people gave just $200 eachÃ¢€”that adds up to $200 million. More than George W. is expected to raise.
Sheer genius. Lemme point out some seemingly obvious facts:
This scenario is not preposterous. [Is too! -ed.] LetÃ¢€™s cut it another way. Surveys suggest that there are at least 30 million Ã¢€œprogressiveÃ¢€ AmericansÃ¢€”at just about 11% of the population. If just 3 million of those gave $100, we get $300 million dollars.
Hmm. Some questions:
But, I interrupt:
This is in line with other scaleable activities in our economy. Harry Potter did $100 million in book sales just last weekend alone. A successful Hollywood movie does $100 million in a few weeks.
The reason that political giving does not reach these sorts of totalsÃ¢€”in a nation of over 280 million peopleÃ¢€”is not that people donÃ¢€™t value the presidencyÃ¢€”but that the conventional mechanisms for political donating donÃ¢€™t scale. George BushÃ¢€™s money is raised through small networks of wealthy individuals who tap their friends, family, and business associates. While this network is effective up to a point, it cannot compare to the scalability of a nationwide system of theaters, retail stores, or the Internet.
But now the web has changed what is possible in campaign contributing. Using the web millions of people can participate, and do so efficiently. The Dean campaign is starting to prove this, as is Moveon.org. Moreover, new forms of giving can now be explored. For example, people might pledge $5 a week to a candidateÃ¢€”rather than all at once. This would make contributing affordable for more people, and increase their involvement with the campaign.
Right. Allow me to retort:
Scary – he votes.
Jim Moore says Bush raises money through wealthy friends.
The party that receives a large amount of money through a large number of small donations is:
a) the Republicans
b) the Democrats
The party that receives a large amount of money through a small number of large donations is:
a) the Democrats
b) the Republicans
If you answered a) to both questions you win a cookie.