This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

How to Fix Dysfunctional Washington: Voter Checklist

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Washington is dysfunctional because it's teeming with unqualified political leaders. It's not the voters' fault. Without job specifications that voters can cross-check, politicians are being selected based on some type of appeal. Maybe it's stated positions, records, party, alma mater or something else appealing.

If instead voters evaluated hard skills (knowledge skills) and soft skills (behavioral skills), they would elect leaders who can fix the economy and keep it healthy. Here's a quick list of what to look for in next year's presidential elections.

Hard Skills

Economics. Political leaders need to know:

The costs and benefits of taxes. If a candidate thinks that taxes are the solution to government excess, wonder if they also think that scotch is a cure for alcoholism.

The costs and benefits of regulations. If a candidate talks about regulations to solve a problem, be suspicious. They may be punishing the nation for a few bad apples, or trying to legislate a personal point of view.

How the public and private sectors complement one another to maximize wealth creation. Candidates that talk about punishing business are as dangerous as employees sabotaging their employers.

The importance of the private and public sectors sticking to their respective knitting. When candidates talk about government solutions to private sector problems, think Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The limits of the Fed and monetary policy. If a candidate thinks the Fed has all the answers they are literally passing the buck.

Budgeting. How credits and debits are created and the implications of debits exceeding credits. The simple rule is forget the big spender candidates, they only know how to operate in the red.

International Trade/Relations. If a candidate is rallying against international trade as a job stealer, they have probably bought a Brooklyn Bridge or two.

They also need to know a few essentials of American history including, the roles played by democracy, capitalism, the military and American culture in the nation's success.

Knowledge of political, economic and social systems around the world is key. If a candidate thinks the EU is the United States of Europe, place an X through their name. If a candidate thinks democratic elections are a panacea to poverty and repression, they probably also believe in the tooth fairy.

Military. Comprehends how security threats changed after the Cold War and that U.S. military firepower is nearly as great as the rest of the world's combined.


What 'hard skills' are most important for the next U.S. president?

Economics
Budgeting
International Trade/Relations
Military

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs