Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Cost of Democracy

I think we all take for granted the fact that we have the right to freely choose who we elect to public office.  Every 4 years, we have the priviledge of making our own personal statement about our views for this country.  Have you ever thought about how much money we spend (or waste) during this important exercise?  The first candidate announced his formation of an exploratory committee for the 2012 presidential election in 2010!  We had barely completed the mid-term elections when the focus turned to the presidential election. 

The presidential election alone cost more than 2 BILLION DOLLARS!  Read that again, that's BILLION with a B! 

What if we took that money and invested it in the greater good?  What if we put limits on how much could be spent for elections and limited the length of the campaigns and amount of tv airtime they could purchase? 

According to UNICEF, there were more than 132 million orphans in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean in 2005.  UNICEF defines orphans as children who have lost one or more parents.  Of the 132 million orphans, approximately 13 million children have lost both parents.  This doesn't tell you exactly how many children have been abandoned by their families due to death or poverty.

Based on the Samaritan's Purse Gift Catalog, the cost of one American Presidential Election could have:
  • Fed 1 Million hungry babies for a year, plus
  • Provided basic necessities for 500,000 abandoned children, plus
  • Fed 250,000 Sudanese and Congolese families for a year, plus
  • Built wells to provide water to 175 Million people, plus
  • Rescued 1 Million children from exploitation while providing shelter and skills training, plus
  • Given a misquito net to help prevent the death of 800,000 from malaria, plus
  • Built 50,000 family homes, plus
  • Built 10,000 missionary hospitals

Instead of wasting money arguing about our differing views for two years, why can't we agree to voice our opinions openly and then do better with the savings?  Imagine the difference if we limited all those state and local elections as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment