Engineers are, by nature, problem solvers. They are analytical people who are taught to think outside the box, come up with innovative and creative solutions, and deliver on a deadline. They are driven by the excitement that comes from achieving a goal.
Lawyers, on the other hand, are taught to find loopholes. They are driven by personal interests; in many cases this is the interest of the client who is paying them.
Why, then, are the people tasked with solving the country’s problems and leading the country forward the people who have their personal interests at heart? The vast majority of politicians, at any level of government, are people who have backgrounds in law, history, political science, and government studies. Only one U.S. president – Herbert Hoover – was an engineer. My ideal U.S. government would consist entirely of engineers and other technical people.
With men and women from engineering backgrounds in office, the country wouldn’t have to worry about political agendas getting in the way of policy-making. Engineers would come up with efficient, calculated, cost-effective and optimized government programs. Rather than spend time arguing about party agendas day in and day out, our technical-minded lawmakers would draw out plans on dry erase boards all morning, then retreat to their desks for the afternoon to deliver on their promises.
Engineers are mostly goal-oriented people who aim to deliver a product, service, or solution. Today’s politicians are mostly driven by money, personal interests, tax breaks for their personal business interests, and earmarks for their hometowns. Engineers would only be driven to deliver the best solution possible, without the distractions of modern politics.
Unfortunately, I can’t see my fantasy of an engineer-packed ballot coming anytime soon. Until then, I suppose I’ll be stuck trying to decide which politician I think can be more innovative than the other.