Boehner talks about being “Serious” about Budget Plan but is he playing Edward’s Game?

The cats and dogs in the neighborhood want Boehner and Pelosi to work together to raise the debt-ceiling. Where are the grownups? Photo credit by Happy New Year '09 by raneko on flickr cc

Boehner walks out on Budget Talks Today…Here’s what is really going on:

Can Boehner and the people he claims he represents get beyond party politics?

Negotiation 101:

In an optimal negotiation both sides listen to each other’s point of view and then work in good faith to come up with a solution that meets each other’s concerns. If both parties actually listen to each other’s concerns and get beyond their individual rigid positions, then hopefully a third solution will emerge that takes into account the needs and concerns of both sides.

Boehner & Cantorian Negotiation: Edward’s Game

Today House Speaker Boehner expected that the President and the Democrats would basically move their proposal to the one proposed solely by Boehner and Cantor. That is not a negotiation. That is a bullying tactic called Edwards Game.

Edward’s Game works this way:

The Mayor Negotiates with Alien Visitors

You start out negotiating with someone and you think they will come to a fair solution if you just give up some of your points thinking that if you do, then surely the other side will see how you are listening to them and wanting to come to a solution for the good of all the parties. However, in “Edward’s Game” the other side decides when you begin giving in to their demands that they want more and more. Over time the result of the negotiation is that the other side gives away everything they wanted trying to get the other party to just come to a solution. However, the other side keeps wanting the other person or group to give more and more and more. Maybe even going beyond the initial opening potential solutions offered by both sides until the other side is way way beyond what they ever intended to give in to.

The Duck Negotiates

The Negotiation: Boston Terrier vs. French Bulldog

The moral of “Edward’s Game” is that one should never ever play it because you can never win with someone who never intends to really listen to your concerns. They only want to get everything their way. They do not care about the other side. They do not listen to the other side. They just keep moving the line further and further towards their side until they get everything they wanted and possibly more. That is not a fair negotiation, that is a stupid game to play.

Right now, Boehner and Cantor are playing Edward’s Game.

However, sometimes people use a different kind of math that only they understand:

Then there are those who will continue to be positional and create stalemate where everyone loses:

The Optimal Negotiation:

Trillions of dollars have been spent on two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet tax rates have gone down in the last 10 years and remain extremely low. We have more expenditures with no additional or less revenue. How can we properly run our country without harming citizens if we do not have enough revenue coming into the government?

Without revenue the burden falls on the elderly and the young while the wealthy pay less and the poor and middle class pay more. Is that fair?

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