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Captain_Fantasy's avatar

What incentive is there for the best and brightest to run for public office?

Asked by Captain_Fantasy (11431points) February 18th, 2010

Think of the most brilliant person in your high school.
What did they want to do with their life?
Be a doctor?
Own a big business?
Invent the next big thing?

How many of them said “I want to fix the DMV for Columbus OH?” or “I want to resolve all the inefficiencies in the parks department of Boise?”

There’s no incentive for the brightest people to run for office because they wouldn’t tolerate such unrewarding work for a moment knowing full well they could do much better for themselves in a different work environment.
-They’d be managing people who grew up with the mantra “meh, it’s good enough for government work”.
-A good percentage of their constituents would hate them for no other reason than they were the one holding that position in that particular moment in time.
-There is little praise for success but buckets of scorn for any perceived failure and many times, there’s buckets of scorn even when they’re successful.

So if the best and brightest are off making their mark in the world, who’s left to run the city works?

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6 Answers

Mamradpivo's avatar

None. None at all.

jca's avatar

i gave you a Great Question because i truly agree that it is a job where you’d be subject to condemnation, ridicule and false accusations.

lilikoi's avatar

Those who enjoy money, power, and fame.

cookieman's avatar

My uncle, a former police chief, once said (when referring to local politics here in Boston), “Anyone smart enough to fix this mess is smart enough to stay the hell away from it.”

marinelife's avatar

It is only those who are instilled with a sense of public service who are willing to go into government.

It also helps to be a bit of an exhibitionist.

keastham's avatar

There are some very bright, dedicated, government officials, both elected and career employees. I’ve worked with them. But I’ve also worked with some slugs!

It will take someone who is patient, thick-skinned, and willing to do the right thing, even when it’s difficult. Get rid of the slugs and demand excellence and accountability.

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