What if the 20 wealthiest Americans pooled their resources and worked together to develop and pass a set of ‘third-rail’ legislation that generally has the support of a silent majority, but is doomed to languish in our current political landscape? Just for fun and to annoy everyone, let’s say:
1. Congressional term limits; eliminating anonymous and unlimited PAC contributions
2. Banning semi-automatic weapons; background checks for gun purchases
3. Social Security Reform (raising rates, income caps, and/or retirement age)
These twenty individuals could use just 10% of their total wealth (a mere $60 billion) and fashion a political campaign for the ages. Here is what $60 billion might buy:
- A staff of 1,000 in every state to lead the grassroots campaign. They could place personal phone calls to every U.S. household multiple times per month.
- A staff of 2,500 in Washington DC to coordinate and lead the charge.
- $1 billion in a PAC fund for each of the issues.
- One-third of all U.S. advertising for an entire year – TV, internet, radio, magazines, newspapers, billboards, etc. Sure, it doesn’t actually work like this but you get the point.
- About $5 billion in ‘pocket change’ to deal with unexpected problems as they arise, and to hire an army of expert consultants :).
Of course, once this set of low-hanging fruit was accomplished – who knows what they might be able to tackle next? The possibilities are endless…
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