Re: Stealing an Election: What's it worth?

From: Edmund R. Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Tue May 31 2005 - 11:51:34 CDT

Hello Jim:

Yes, the stock markets seem to not be particularly
rational. However, setting aside your interesting
case of potential 3rd party beneficiaries, I'm
wondering how a person elected through less than
honest or competent elections would directly benefit?
I'm trying to match apples and apples here. The
original argument is that the person running for
election could buy the election and there was even a
per vote and election machine rate regarding the
costs. To complete the argument, I want to see
clearly how the person doing the cheating would
directly benefit. Then I'd like to see it reduced
down to a per vote rate the same as the cost of
subverting the election was. That way, it would be
easier to show a clear cost/benefit ratio to the
malfactor involved. Right now, the argument while
somehwat persuasive is weak, IMHO, because it doesn't
close the loop.

One obvious way to get income from an election is that
the newly elected official would be able to award
non-competive, government contracts to interested
parties in exchange for favors received. (Full
disclosure, I'm a civil servant.) Also, an elected
official could also tip the balance towards granting a
permit to a privately funded project that would not
otherwise be allowed, again for favors received or
anticipated. However, this needs to be quantified to
make a direct relationship. While I used to be a land
butcher that was 15 years ago and things have changed
a lot.

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

--- Jim March <jmarch@prodigy.net> wrote:
> Ed Kennedy wrote:
>
> > Hello Jim:
> >
> > I can't necessarily see a huge advantage there but
> I'm not a
> > professional investor. The reason I kind of doubt
> this is that polls
> > usually predict election results pretty accurately
> (setting aside
> > Ohio) so this doesn't seem like most elections
> would have results
> > different from what was polled previous to the
> election or even during
> > the elections. via exit polls. Obviously if you
> knew the results were
> > going to be radically different from what pre
> election polling and
> > exit polls you might be able to have some edge.
> Otherwise, I can't
> > see much or a systematic advantage to an investor.
>
>
> Well that's precisely it, isn't it?
>
> Make the results go a different way than predicted,
> bingo.
>
> But even discounting that: stock markets are VERY
> volitile. They go
> back and forth on "group whims". Take the fairly
> extreme (for defense
> spending purposes) Reagan/Mondale race. Even though
> Reagan was expected
> to win, when he did there was a "sigh of market
> relief" where defense
> tech stocks were concerned.
>
> It's all very emotional, not very rational.
>
> If you KNOW for certain how things are going to go
> several hours early
> and you have solid historical data backing up your
> predicted outcome, I
> remain convinced you could make good coin even
> without actual tampering.
>
> It's a bit like card-counting at Blackjack tables.
> A good counter can
> shift the odds from 4% - 5% against 'em to 1% or 2%
> in their favor.
> Which is enough to make serious money with and get
> you kicked out of
> Vegas for life.
>
> In other words, don't look at it as a "sure thing in
> progress", look at
> it as a "subtle shift in odds"...an entirely
> different matter as far as
> difficulty is concerned.
>
> These odds are so carefully stacked that the SEC has
> to stomp HARD on
> any possible whiff of insider trading that would
> make the odds useless.
>
> Jim
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Received on Tue May 31 23:17:50 2005

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