What if the President was a CPA, 9 members of the Supreme Court were CPAs and 270 members of Congress were CPAs. Somewhat jarring is it not? But replace “CPA” with “lawyer” and that is what we have. Our government has 80% of its members IN THE SAME HANDS of one profession: lawyers. 80%!
The father of our Constitution, James Madison, in separating our government’s powers into three branches knew that it would make it less efficient. But he also knew that because of humans unending desire for power it was absolutely necessary if America were to survive. He wrote in Federalist 47:” the accumulation of all powers legislative, executive and judiciary IN THE SAME HANDS, whether of one, a few or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or ELECTIVE, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
Because our government has been IN THE SAME HANDS of lawyers for the last fifty years the feared tyranny has come about. American culture, its finances, and the honest and proper running of the government have only gotten worse.
And look at how far it has gone. Think about how congress operates: It has evolved into the form of a courtroom as “hearings” are held where “witnesses” are “on the record” with their “testimony”. Standard business practice to handle America’s business seems not to be used in any way.
Yet the problem is not lawyers per se. The problem is government being IN THE SAME HANDS of one profession. If it were controlled in the same way by CPAs, teachers, plumbers, or any other group we would have much of the same problem. The results would just be different. The basic problem is that when humans, wherever they are, whoever they are, obtain too much power they ALWAYS abuse it. Madison knew that this quality was a fundamental flaw in our nature and designed our constitution accordingly.
Contrary to what we now have, any group having members with a diverse background generally produce better results. Brainstorming works best when members have dissimilar backgrounds. And studies have shown that the more diverse the makeup of a jury the more valid will be the verdict reached—it is why juries have twelve members rather than two.
And the benefit of diversity is further true in nature itself. While growing up on a farm in the 50’s I learned that corn crossbred from two diverse strains produce a better version than either in a result known as “hybrid vigor”.
One can only wonder what would happen if Congress were more diverse with more of its members being trained in business. In my view they would probably brainstorm for some good ideas, arrive at a consensus of some sort, go forward, make improvements as they went along, and then monitor the result to make sure it ended as planned. And these business people as is their daily practice would readily admit errors as they went along and would move forward, unlike today’s lawyers who make up Congress who are trained never to admit error in a courtroom.
Considerable benefits would ensue: A culture with habits of honesty would be more likely as those trained in business learn early that dishonesty in business is usually fatal; a proper handling of government finances would be more likely as this is something businesses must do well or cease to exist; and a businessperson’s skill at running a business would undoubtedly transfer to a better running of our government. America would benefit immensely.