I am convinced that most people have common sense about money. They can understand that it is impossible to spend more than you earn, indefinitely, and that there are consequences for outrageous spending. Strangely enough, economists and politicians do not seem to have that common sense.
This debate question is offensive. The last time I checked, any U.S. citizen without a felony could run for any political office. It is the average citizen that is at the true heart of the actions and results of political and economic policies. Politicians are not holy men and women with some divine knowledge that is not privy to those who are not politicians. Politicians are just prior laypeople.
Professionals in any field tend to stick with what they know and with what they expect. A lay person may offer a solution or an idea born of their unique perspective. Henry Ford took what he knew and built the first factory. Just because someone is an expert, it doesn't mean they have all the answers.
Laypeople are just as competent and intelligent as the so-called experts in political and economic arenas. The advantage that a layperson has is the fact that they are living with the policies made by these experts, and experience first-hand the results. A layperson can consult different experts and counsel, and make intelligent and discerning decisions regarding policies.
Why wouldn't they be? In my opinion, they probably would be more compassionate towards people's needs. Laypeople would probably take to heart the struggles of the common people, and be more compassionate to what the people need in their everyday lives. Most politicians lose touch with reality when in office.
Clearly it doesn't take a rocket scientist. If the so-called experts were doing it well this country wouldn't be in the mess it is right now. Laypeople are actually the best choice for creating these policies because they are actually living in the real world, dealing with issues daily as they live them and doing so on a salary unfit for most of them to live. If you want to clear up the national debt, hire a single mother of three to balance the budget.
Laypeople have to manage their everyday lives which includes living within a budget and managing disagreements between neighbors. For general economic policy I believe a person with practical experience has a better grasp of what needs to happen. More so than a career politician or economist who is schooled in theory, mired in partisan expectations and beholden to financial contributors.
We tend to use the government as an all-encompassing term that explains how rules are made. The truth is that people who work in government are just doing their jobs because that is what they studied and what they know. This could apply to any profession or industry, thus laypeople can do anything they want if they really study the subject matter and know the facts.
Democracy is based on the concept that the average person is capable of running their own lives. If the average person is not capable of deciding what is best for themselves, then there must somehow be an elite capable of deciding for them. This creates a ruling class that decides for everyone. This belief system gave us Communists whose Party killed millions in the Great Leap Forward in China and 1/3 of all Cambodians under Pol Pot and millions more in Stalin's purges. After all, the elite thinks it is best for society to kill a few. If the citizens had a say, the extremism would have been stopped - but they didn't have a say. If we are a democracy, we cannot leave all decisions to an elite that will quickly become self-appointed, whether we like it or not.
Many laws that are passed in our country are not binding on members of Congress or other government workers. Laypeople have experience in business and would consider laws that are fair to all citizens. We cannot let the government have too much power, which seems to be the direction that we are heading. There should be term limits so that lay people can offer the benefit of their experience. And they wouldn't be able to stay in government long enough to become power-hungry and controlling.
We see the two sides of the political parties fighting constantly over everything under the sun. The common man may be able to write a convincing policy, but both sides have to agree, and that is when the real work comes in to play. I just don't believe that the average man or woman would be able to handle it.
Would you allow an untrained doctor to remove your spleen? Would you allow an untrained roofer to shingle your roof? Of course, you wouldn't. It is equally absurd to suggest that a layperson, someone without any education in political science and political ethics, is fit to lead a country. I realize I will be labeled "elitist" by saying this, but the average man is not fit to hold political office. We should aspire to elect the very best of us, men and women who have devoted their lives to learning the intricacies of the economy and the political landscape. Laypeople, in turn, will serve their purpose as voters.
The term "layperson" is interpreted different by every person. I think, by getting to know an individual person, you might be surprised by how much knowledge they really have. Once you see the strengths of that person, it will become clear how valuable their opinion is. If society started judging each person by the outside, and not by what they have to offer, then we would get no where.
Most people know more about pop culture references than about U.S. government policy. A 2006 study indicates that only one in four Americans can name the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment, yet more than half can name at least two of the characters from the Simpsons.
The problem with laypeople creating political and economic policies are twofold. The first is over-emotionalism. Imagine, for instance, what it would be like if the most activist of the Tea Partiers got their hands on the reigns of policy. Second is the enormous amount of complexity in our world today. Laypeople wouldn't consider all the factors and would likely be too short-sighted.
On the other hand, laypeople can certainly see the results of policies with their own pocketbooks and publicly-available economic indicators. Being able to throw the bums out is an important function that laypeople serve.
Average citizens probably should not make the policies, but should be given the right to vote on policy changes. There should be much study done in creating policies and educated individual should have that responsibility. Average citizens don't deal with the intricacies of the law and of past policy. Only someone with the proper education in such matter should create policy.
Political and economic policies affect a lot of people. It is important for the people passing them to understand the ramifications of what they are causing the be a rule for the public. Their job is to know these things. The typical layperson has very little care for anyone but themselves and if they were to try to create a policy it would most likely work for them, but not for everyone. They are not capable of doing this because they have no understanding of scope. To be honest the people that make the decisions now tend to have no idea about scope as well, but they at least try, which is more than a layperson would do.
I don't believe that citizens are good in making policy decisions because I feel if that was the case we wouldn't need lawmakers or individuals in politics. Also, I feel that citizens don't have the experience and the patience that it's required to make good policy decisions. Lawmakers and politicians have doing this for a very long time and actually have made good policy decisions when it comes to education and law enforcement to name a couple. I have notice that we are making progress in both of those fields. The school systems across the country have been improving in the past decade and also there has been a significant decrease in crime over the past few years. I think that these types of policies couldn't be implemented by ordinary citizens.