Why aren't people willing to pay their government leaders more money?

I heard you get what you pay for and that seems to be reflected in the price of labor where companies are willing to pay a lot of money for top talent that is scarce.

So why aren’t people willing to pay top dollar for top quality leadership in important posts such as president and congressperson?

I mean if they’re willing to pay a football coach $10M a year does that mean football is more important than running the country?

Or does that mean the supply for US presidents is just very high and we get good enough candidates for $400k?

Have you seen improvement in higher paid politicians? Because you get what you pay for doesn’t really say anything about quality, does it?

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The potential government leaders I think would be worth paying more are smart enough to avoid politics in the first place.

I don’t want to think what my tax bill would be like to offer them salaries high enough to make it worth their while to change paths…and to overcome challenges by those being bought by special interests.

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Because their salary while being a politician is usually a fraction of their after-politics compensation?

How much have the Clintons and Obamas earned after being POTUS? They would not have made those bucks without first having been politicians.

I mean, what I’m saying that is if you made the presidential salary sky high, I mean very sky high like $50M or even $100M or something, that could blunt the ability of corporations to offer generous speaking fees post-presidency in exchange for in-term favors.

Well that’s because the pay is so bad. No sane person is gonna be a congressperson making $180k when they can be an actuary in cube-land and easily out-earn that without the responsibility of governing the nation. You might not even need to manage anyone!

Would I take a pay cut to become a congress person? Only a nutso would do that and that’s why you get nutsos in congress. If the job paid $20M I might reconsider.

Well, the prime minister of Singapore makes over 1M and at least perceptually the country looks to have a low amount of corruption. And, since they’re just a city that’s like paying the mayor of Los Angeles 6 times their current salary.

At the federal level I would think the salaries for congress, the president, and cabinet should be waaaaaaaaay higher since the responsibility is much higher.

It’s more than that. It’s the :cow::poop: associated with the political process, the soul-sucking aspect of fundraising, the nonsense in dealing with the media, etc., etc., etc.

I might be tempted at 20m (ignoring the fact that with my socially liberal libertarian views, I’m not electable given current political calculus), but ultimately I’d still turn it down.

Now, if we were talking about 200m or 2b…at that level, I might put up with a 2-year term in Congress. Throw another zero on there, and I might even consider running for reelection.

A few jobs ago, my duties included being an absent-minded actuary that my then-employer government relations lawyers and trade association folks would trot out to legislators and regulators. And while there were some fun moments…the experience went a long way towards fueling the cynicism I already possessed.

I will concede that if you got all the jokers out of power and replaced them with the folks who today have the good sense to avoid legislative positions, maybe the job would improve enough that I’d consider doing it at 2m, or maybe even 500k. But you still have the fundraising and the media crap creating significant downsides to the job.

I don’t think that we’ll get better political leadership by offering CEO type pay. I’m not sure of all the financial rewards other than pay for our lawmakers but there always seems to be plenty of interest in those positions and retired politicians seem to do well financially.