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Kass: More on the Business of Politics

This column originally appeared on Real Money Pro at 9:05 a.m. EDT on Nov 2.

NEW YORK (Real Money) -- After today's opening missive, there will only be two more "More on the Business of Politics" columns before Tuesday's election, but I wanted to qualify this column -- for the last time -- and explain my reliance on FiveThirtyEight -- Nate Silver's Political Caucus as a most important source of election projections.

We are approaching the height of the election season and the stakes are high. The campaigns grow more heated, hyperbolic and more repulsive. Not surprisingly, many feel a need to express our own political views. Political views are like noses, everyone has one.

I have very strongly held political beliefs, but I feel as strongly that my platform in my diary on Real Money Pro is an inappropriate forum for me to deliver and voice my views. As a result, I have long avoided discussing my personal politics on this site -- in part because it is no one's business, and also, you shouldn't really care what my view is.

Whenever I mention the election and the markets or mention specific polls (especially Nate Silver's The New York Times poll), the comments section and my email box are filled with personal political opinions from subscribers and from friends. Typically, people automatically infer that since Silver's platform is The New York Times that the poll (and my attention to it) indicates a personal and liberal bias. This is not an accurate representation of the reason why I have chosen and present Silver's blog. Let me remind you that the left-leaning New York Times has conservative contributors to the editorial page and elsewhere, while the right-leaning Wall Street Journal possesses liberal contributors.

And just as you shouldn't care about my politics, I frankly couldn't care less what your view is either, but I respect everyone's right to have a view. I just don't think projecting it and venting in a public forum accomplishes much of anything.

And while I am ranting, I totally don't understand why wealthy citizens, on both sides of the pew, think that because of their net worth and privilege they should communicate their personal political views in the media (print and elsewhere). Why is their voice, whether Democratic or Republican, implicitly a more important deliverer of message than the fireman, teacher or librarian (who have an equal vote but cannot either afford an advertisement or don't have the celebrity that would cause them to be invited on CNBC, Bloomberg or Fox)? Why do the wealthy seem to have the sense (because they have loads of money) that they are more entitled to state their views in a more forceful and visible manner than those who cannot afford to present their political views? The answer seems to lie in our political campaign funding, which is the cause of more problems than benefits.

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