Black_KittyAnd that's exactly my point! :) They can easily find higher paying positions elsewhere, but instead they choose politics. Highly paid doctors and lawyers provide a constant stream of political recruits all over the world: leaving higher paid positions for often higher status and yet much lower paid positions in government.
I don't think it's that hard for some of them to find more attractive options then running for office.
The money is irrelevant. The only motives for that career in modern first world democracies (and yes, a lot of it can be traced to Plato's Republic), are power, status, a willingness to serve your community, ideology, and social responsibility. The thing is, politics isn't a job, not in the classical sense, it's something people are strongly committed to. I would argue (and a lot or learned people before me have as well), that only the worst kinds of people would seek leadership for money.
There is another argument that goes along the lines of whoever would seek leadership is the least qualified to lead… But that seems most popular in fantasy stories. :P