I rail on politicians, a lot, and periodically come up with ideas for how to get better quality, less groupthinky congresspeople.
Some of my ideas I'm quite proud of - sealing voting records until a few months before elections to weaken political coalitions, for example, or making all political contributions anonymous to reduce reciprocity. However, turns out I may be very, very wrong about one of my ideas.
I wanted to make politics a lower-status job - living in barracks, unpaid, etc - to reduce the number of "politicians for life". If politicians saw it as a term of service instead of a cushy position, i thought maybe they'd do more work towards good policy instead of good politics because reelection mattered less.
However, turns out that a pair of studies (one in Brazil and one in Italy) has indicated the reverse. Making politics higher paid draws higher-quality candidates in terms of education and in one case, experience and previous profession. Both articles concluded that these better politicians were more efficient and did a better job overall.
Of course, the type of people who go into politics in Brazil and Italy may be different than in America - we have a lot of millionaires in Congress as it is - so I'm not sure if it means I'm definitely wrong. However, it definitely raises the possibility.