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 SkillsEconomics. 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.