In just 16 days, outside spending groups (like super PACs and various breeds of nonprofits) spent $212.8 million on ads, starting Oct. 1.
As Politico’s Dave Levinthal points out, that’s enough to buy every person living in Flint, Mich., or Green Bay Wis., a "high-end" LED flat screen TV.
That got us thinking, and playing with Wolfram Alpha, what else could 16 days worth of political ads buy?
(Arranged in order from serious, to decidedly less serious.)
1,363 packs of ramen noodles ($334.58 worth) for each homeless person in the U.S. (using 2011 stats).
Four years’ tuition and board at Harvard University for 976 students.
A full tank of gas for 5,728,129 cars (using national average of $3.71, and assuming a 10-gal. tank).
A year’s salary for 3,795 full-time, public school teachers (using U.S. average).
The 2012 season salary for every active player on the New York Yankees — plus Derek Jeter and Joe Girardi — with roughly $3 million to spare.
First of all, a $32,000 fixed-gear bicycle exists — but even for that price, you could buy 6,650 of ‘em.
A binder (like this) for every woman living in the state of California.
One of these giant gummy bears on stick for every child 4-years-old and under in the U.S.
5,600,000 shares of Facebook stock when company first went public … or 11,211,801 shares today (stock value is $18.98 now, $38.00 at IPO).

In just 16 days, outside spending groups (like super PACs and various breeds of nonprofits) spent $212.8 million on ads, starting Oct. 1.

As Politico’s Dave Levinthal points out, that’s enough to buy every person living in Flint, Mich., or Green Bay Wis., a "high-end" LED flat screen TV.

That got us thinking, and playing with Wolfram Alpha, what else could 16 days worth of political ads buy?

(Arranged in order from serious, to decidedly less serious.)

  • 1,363 packs of ramen noodles ($334.58 worth) for each homeless person in the U.S. (using 2011 stats).
  • Four years’ tuition and board at Harvard University for 976 students.
  • A full tank of gas for 5,728,129 cars (using national average of $3.71, and assuming a 10-gal. tank).
  • A year’s salary for 3,795 full-time, public school teachers (using U.S. average).
  • The 2012 season salary for every active player on the New York Yankees — plus Derek Jeter and Joe Girardi — with roughly $3 million to spare.
  • First of all, a $32,000 fixed-gear bicycle existsbut even for that price, you could buy 6,650 of ‘em.
  • A binder (like this) for every woman living in the state of California.
  • One of these giant gummy bears on stick for every child 4-years-old and under in the U.S.
  • 5,600,000 shares of Facebook stock when company first went public … or 11,211,801 shares today (stock value is $18.98 now, $38.00 at IPO).