Welcome to the end of the week and another edition of Happy Hour! Just sit back, relax, and enjoy your end of the week roundup of all things interesting in the land of money.
The amount of money spent to attract your vote is mind-blowing. The political spending inflation has skyrocketed over the past several decades according to CNBC. With $1.6 billion dollars spent already by the two presidential candidates alone, it’s a wonder how they both don’t get elected.
Since election day (November 6) around the corner, you can expect even more money being thrown away. And you can follow along at home thanks to the New York Times Money Race. When everything is said and done, we’ll be looking at over $2 billion spent for the presidential seat. It’s a dollar or two more than necessary.
So my question is, how does a losing (or winning) candidate rationalize spending that amount of money? Maybe that should have been a question for the debates.
Sometimes you just have to go against the grain. That’s what economist Gordon Tullock believes in the case of voting or not voting really. The video takes an economic look at voting and what voters actually get out of it. Apparently voters get some happiness out of the act. Though if they voted for the loser…well.
It seems that as more and more people vote, the mathematical relevance of a single voter decreases. Meaning your vote is not that important when several million people vote. Of course, if everyone believed that, less and less people would vote. Which would give your vote more relevance. And a vicious cycle would ensue. Thankfully, millions of people enjoy having their say in an election. So, it’s not an issue yet!
- Who Wins In An ETF Price War? – The investor does, sort of. But it opens up a slew of questions when the index behind each fund changes.
- Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission: Interview with Warren Buffett – An interesting and long perspective on the financial crisis through the eyes of Buffett.
- 6 Big Myths About 529 Plans – Probably the best way to save for college, yet there still is a lot of confusion surrounding these plans.
- SEC Must Put a Stop to Casino Markets - While I agree with the solution in the article, when it comes to government (and regulatory) action, it always takes too long.
- The 40 Year Dow Jones Cycle - People like to study the market’s history to predict its future movement. Not sure I believe it, but the article puts forth a good case.