Monday, December 21


Almost everyone's had to go to the car dealership and buy a new car. When you go, you go with a basic premise in mind; that both you and the salesman want you to walk out with a new car. Both of you want your situation to be different when you leave than when you came in. Starting from that premise, the negotiations are pretty easy. There about things like warranties, accessories, and price. When you leave with a new car you might say to yourself, " I paid a little bit more than I wanted too, but, I got an extended warranty and a new mp3 player installed. All in all, I'm happy with the deal." The salesman, after you walk out, might say to themselves, " You know, I didn't get them to spend as much as I wanted. However, my commission will still be nice, and, I got another sale so I'm closer to getting that ' Salesman of the Month' bonus. All in all, I'm happy with the deal." This is possible because both you and the salesman on the otherside of the table knew you would both benefit from getting you into that new car.

Now imagine that salesman doesn't want to sell you that car. Imagine he thinks that you'll just make the car dirty if you get it so he's determined to make sure none ever leave the lot. Negotiations are gonna go a little bit differently. You ask if you can have an extended warranty, NO. You ask if you pay above sticker price if you can have a new and better stereo, NO. If you can pay under sticker price and let them off the hook for the warranty, NO. After awhile your gonna get fed-up and say, " Forget you then! I'll just go and build my own car." Now how many of us know or could afford to build our own car? Probably not many. So, you have to go ask someone to build it for you. They say, " Sure, but I wanna use it 3 days a week." You need a car so you agree. You borrow money to buy the engine, but the person you borrow the money from says they don't like speeders, so their only gonna give you enough money to get an engine that tops out at 60 mph. You agree. You go to buy the spark plugs, but you can only afford the economy ones that don't fire well so it's always rough to start the car. Lastly you get the shell but you can only afford an ugly rusty one. So what have you got: An ugly piece of junk that's hard to start, won't go past 60 mph, and you only get to drive 4 days a week. Now there's an argument to be made that you should scrap the car, get your money back, and come back at the endeavour when you've got better means. There's also an argument to be made that at least with a car you'll be able to get around better, thereby increasing your possibility for getting the means you need to improve upon your crappy car. There are valid points on both sides. However, let's not forget the reason for this predicament, i.e, the salesman being completely unwilling to negotiate with you for a good car in the first place.

Democracy is based on one unchangeable principle: Nobody gets everything that they want. We are all free and equal because we are all equally disappointed in what we get from the bargaining table. But if you want a seat at that table, you have to be willing to lose a little bit. Does anybody think that if 10-20 House Republicans had come up to the Speaker and said that they would be willing to vote for Healthcare Bill as long as there was no Public Option, that the House would have one in their bill? Does anyone think that if 1-2 Senate Republicans had been willing to cast their votes in favor of the bill if their was Medical Malpractice caps, that the Democrats wouldn't now being telling their trial lawyer friends to please not be mad at what had to happen? You sacrifice some things you want in order to get others. You want good grades, your not gonna be able to party 24/7. You want a nice house and money to spend, your going to have to be at a job that for most people isn't greatly satisfying. You want a family, your days of doing what you want, when you want, are going to have to go out the window. The ability to sacrifice some things in order to get other, more important things. There's a word for it: Adult. Let's hope that those in Congress who would rather say 'No' then ' Maybe' acquire this ability before the country turns into a slow crusty lemon that only works 4/7 of the time.