From pages 332-333 of Sagan’s superb novel Contact, as spoken by protagonist Ellie Arroway:
“This planet is run by crazy people. Remember what they have to do to get where they are. Their perspective is so narrow, so… brief. A few years. In the best of them a few decades. They care only about the time they are in power.”
I greatly admire Carl Sagan, though his politico-economic analysis is usually rather naive. This time, he nails it.