Well folks, it’s finally happened. Everyone’s favourite former mayor Michael Bloomberg has officially dropped out of the race for the 2020 presidency, following a cringeworthy turnout among supporters during Super Tuesday, during which he nabbed only one win, in the American Samoa caucus.
But before leaving, the dude left a serious mark on the public. Between TV, radio, and internet ads, Bloomberg spent a solid $US558 ($843) million, burying every other democratic candidate in the process. When it comes to internet ads, Bloomberg used part of that money to smack his name at the top of every Google search page, drive bizarre Instagram sponcon, and ignite more than a few think pieces debating just how unhealthy this man’s spending habits are (very).
Thinking about the roughly $US119 ($180) million he tanked across Google and Facebook’s respective multibillion-dollar properties over the course of a campaign that ultimately went nowhere is a bit depressing—you can’t help but think where that money would have been better spent. Off the top of my head, he could’ve invested in the affordable housing that his administration gutted, or offered therapy for the employees he harassed. He could’ve bought lunch for the journalists that are inevitably stuck at their desks whole covering this shitshow of a campaign in the first place.
As a reporter who follows the financials of big tech pretty closely, I’m typically tallying up figures from companies with revenues in the millions and billions, which is enough to depress anyone who isn’t, well, Michael Bloomberg. To keep myself from shooting myself in the face, I eventually came up with the “McNugget Score,” or the number of McDonald’s chicken nuggets a given CEO (or presidential candidate) can afford. Looking at New York City prices, you can get ten nuggets for $US5.51 ($8), which puts each nug at about 55 cents ($0.83).
Instead of lining the (already well-lined) pockets of Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai, Bloomberg could have bought the entire Gizmodo office more than 200 million nuggets, which is either a dream come true or a hellish nightmare, depending on your digestional constitution. Here’s the specs:
With the $US55,783,300 ($84,319,470) spent advertising on Google, he could’ve bought us roughly 101 million nuggets.
With the $US63,043,938 ($95,294,317) spent on Facebook, he could’ve bought us roughly 114 million nuggets (plus three-fourths of an additional nugget).
Tallying up both totals, for the $US118.83 ($180) million Bloomberg wasted on the big tech platforms, he could’ve bought the Gizmodo office 216 million nuggets, which can probably be considered a lifetime supply of nuggets for every staffer.
Just to be clear: we’re not advocating for anyone here to eat nothing but nuggets—it’s something that will probably land you in the hospital sooner rather than later. So I guess it’s a bit of a tossup about what’s the worse investment: pointlessly pouring money into tech companies that fuel genocide abroad and spread misinformation at home? Or making me the happiest (albeit most unhealthy) journalist alive?