As the dust of the recent election settles, I've begun to have a change of heart over the Citizens United decision permitting hundreds of millions of dollars of super PAC money into our election. The president has been re-elected, there are more Democrats in both the House and Senate, and many social issues supported by progressives have finally been advanced, all to the chagrin of Karl Rove and his donors.
Initially I was firmly against that Supreme Court ruling, but seeing what little effect, if any, it had on this election, perhaps it's time to consider what benefits all that PAC money had. That money didn't transfer from millionaires' and billionaires' bank accounts and vanish into thin air. It was spent to influence an election. How? By producing and purchasing radio, TV, Internet and billboard ads and airtime; printing and distributing direct mail; and making use of other forms of media.
That money benefited many, many businesses and eventually went to hard-working, middle-class Americans in their paychecks. Heck, it may have been partly responsible for the unemployment rate dropping from 8.2 percent to 7.8 percent in the run-up to the election. I guess you could even consider it an unintended yet massive distribution of wealth.