This posting is addressed to my fellow Massachusetts citizens who vote in the 5th Congressional District. The competition is between Ed Markey, a traditional incumbent Democrat (in office since 1976 and the administration of Gerald Ford) who earns 93 percent of his contributions from outside his district (Wikipedia) and 75 percent from out of state. The challenger is Tom Tierney, an actuary running as a Republican. In this 2011 posting, I suggested that our country needed to be advised by accountants rather than economists. However, it may be the case that actuaries are better suited to analyzing public policy challenges.
Politicians at local, state, and federal levels seemingly cannot get elected without making promises to support people with money or services (such as health care) until those people are dead. This tends to lead us toward bankruptcy because politicians have no expertise in figuring out how long people will live or how much money needs to be set aside today to insure an income stream of, say, $20,000 per year starting 50 years from now. This is precisely what actuaries are good at. (Unfortunately his policy ideas include raising taxes, good evidence for why actuaries have not previously been successful as politicians!)
Regardless of whether or not one agrees with the policy ideas on his web site, an actuary such as Tierney would be a good resource for other Representatives and a constant reminder that making commitments based on life expectancy only makes financial sense for enterprises, such as life insurers, whose other costs are reduced if life spans turn out to be longer than originally calculated.
[Note: Markey was last in the tech world news in 2006 for advocating the arrest of a computer science graduate student who showed the ease with which airline boarding passes could be faked.]