Read on for the answer.
Venky Ganesan of Venchar describes a "pearl of wisdom from Mark Cuban."
Mark asked this rhetorical question:
"What is the #1 job of a General Manager of a NBA team?"
He answered the following:
"You might think it is to win the NBA championship or assemble a great group of players or get the best value for the budget but you will be wrong on all counts. The #1 job of a General Manager is to keep his job because there are only 30 jobs like this and he/she gets paid millions of dollars to work 6 months a year"
This is so true. There are lots of jobs especially high paying jobs in which the incentives of the folks working those jobs are not aligned with their employers. Mutual fund managers come to mind (their goal is to maximize assets not returns), Studio execs (whose job is to keep their job) and some would even argue VC's (keep raising funds independent of the ability to invest it wisely)
So the answer to the question I posed above on politicians?
To get re-elected in the next election and retain the priviliges of power and pelf.
That's not going to change easily or quickly. Technically democracy and elections are supposed to provide the check on politicians to align their incentivies with those of their constituents (us), but it doesn't work out that way in practice. The politicians are able to pull the wool over our eyes and con us with meaningless/foolish short term promises (like bags of rice and colour televisions gifted free to the masses) which would not just be unviable in the long term, but would end up bankrupting the country over the long term.
There's no simple or quick solution, but there's one solution which will work over the long term. Create an informed populace, that will not only not fall for the politicians' gimmicks, but challenge everything they state or promise. That is a long haul solution.
P.S. What was the #1 job of Jagmohan Dalmiya when he was the head of BCCI? No points for guessing.