One of the major factors leading to political corruption is the revolving door between the private sector and political staffers. It’s no accident that many political scandals, not to mention bad policy, can be traced back to former Congressional aides. There’s a lot of money to be made lobbying your former boss and friends. One reason why public servants make this jump is poor salaries. There’s no incentive to make a career in government service when the financial compensation is very small:
Daniel Schuman notes:
The people who are working on issues worth billions of dollars and overseeing all federal agencies earn less than entry level pay for an executive branch employee with a professional degree (or a master’s degree with one year’s experience).
With salaries like these, given the expertise needed, only saints and the corrupt would stick around. Sadly, saints are usually quite thin on the ground.
We get the government we pay for.