Next November, the presidential elections will take place—and they will likely be very expensive! Think of all the fliers, advertisements, and campaign workers needed to make a campaign run.
- Can you guess how much money on average is spent on presidential elections? (Allow students to share their thoughts. Encourage them to avoid political talk and to be respectful.)
A presidential campaign costs hundreds of millions—or even billions—of dollars! Depending on how many donations a candidate receives and how much money they have, a campaign can cost close to a billion dollars!
Use the extreme cost of elections as a starting point to ask your students about their opinions on the state of wealth inequality in the world today.
- What do you think about the enormous price tag of election campaigns? Is it necessary? (Allow a few students to share their responses to this question; accept all reasonable answers.)
- If you decided to spend the same amount of money less frivolously, what selfless good could you do with a few hundred million dollars? (After students have shared ideas, comment that with hundreds of millions of people around the globe living on less than $2 a day, there is certainly much that could be accomplished with this money.)
Even a single U.S. dollar can go a long way in other countries. Let’s take a look.
Play the following video clip for your students [stop at 2:09]:
Spending $1 in 10 Different Countries (Budget Travel)
Using the information presented in this video, we can see that with the same amount of money used to pay for elections, countless people around the world could have plenty of food.
When stated in terms like this, it’s easy to see the extravagance of things like campaigns; however, when it comes down to our own lives and wallets, it can be much more difficult to live unselfishly. In today’s lesson, we’ll look at how and what can happen if we are willing to put aside our self-centered motivations.