reengineering government

So if a lobbyist wanted to buy lunch for a senator – let’s say a 4 oz steak on a tiny lump of mashed potatoes, and the whole thing cost $85 – they’d have to show the entree on tv?

While I wholeheartedly agree with everything else you said in your post, just as a point of reference, Otis had, since the 1760s, suffered from some sort of mental instability. Some people think it was either schizophrenia or manic-depression, but whatever it was, it was made worse when, in 1769, a custom house official he had written a nasty attack against beat him severely over the head with a cane, fracturing his skull. A year later, the courts judged him mentally incompetant after he went on a rampage in the State House in Boston, smashing windows, setting his papers on fire, and firing a rifle at the ceiling.

So, when Adams (who was friends with Otis) talked about Otis’s “lucid intervals”, he was being serious and not snarky.

Did not know that - ignorance fought, thanks! I withdraw the “snark” comment.

There is a country that is run almost exclusively by engineers and scientists.
From the Nov. 7, 2007 issue of New Scientist:

No reason he couldn’t have been both. It seems pretty rude to refer to that when there was no apparent reason why it was at all relevant.

Heck, Krypton was run by scientists and look what happened to them. Why, their economy doesn’t even register any more!

What is the point of engineers, scientists and technologists going into politics or government? That isn’t their training, background or experience. The entire premise of the OP seems to be based on the idea that somehow career politicians or lawyers are someone inferior to people in other fields.

Aren’t they? I would not say inferior but rather superfluous. If we of straight dope, who seem to represent a cross section of America, arrive at consensus on the issues discussed then we would not need to delegate that responsibility to govern because after all we are the ones in authority.

As complex as our society is today the politicians and lawyers must have training and background to take on the responsibility that we have delegated. But having none of our career training and background then they can only guess about what we need or don’t need in the way of governance. In the current embodiment only those that talk the loudest are considered as being in authority.

I am suggesting that engineers, scientists and technologists (everyone not a politician and lawyer) are not being put to good use in our government. As a perfect example, if we are convinced that the computerized climate models are correct, then we should be equally convinced that modeling an economy and a society would reveal the future effect of new government policies.