Thursday, December 20, 2012

Just Say NO‬! ... J. D. Longstreet

Just Say NO‬!
Negotiating With Obama
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet

I come from a long line of horse thiev -- uh, traders.  They bought, sold, and traded about everything.   They didn't much mind if the items they were trafficking in were legal or illegal.  Even a little prison time for one of my favorite uncles did little to blunt his fervor for creative income sources.  A little money across the palms of a politician or two and he walked from prison a free man.

I loved the guy!  In fact, he taught me everything I know about selling ... anything.  Summed up it was simply:  Let the other guy sell himself! You, as the seller,  simply present the, uh, opportunity. 

It was sort of like fishing.  All the seller needed was something to sell, a nonchalant approach, and then patience -- while the buyer decided to relieve you of your prize. It worked remarkably well and I relied on that method for many years.

My uncle taught me that once you had determined the price you must have for whatever you were selling, you upped the asking price by as much as a 100%.  Of course, you knew you'd never get THAT sum for your product -- but the buyer didn't. Besides, every time the would-be buyer forced you to drop your price he reveled in his little victory and he felt GOOD. 

You would allow the buyer to have several such victories before you feigned lack of interest and -- most every time -- the buyer would take the price on the table.  It always seemed to be more than the "set price" you wanted from the very beginning of the negotiations.  Plus, my uncle taught me the other part of this little technique:  always, always,  walk away from a bad deal.  If the deal even appears to be going against you, fold your tent and leave!

Most all salesmen will recognize this little maneuver.  It's as old as selling itself.  But my uncle was a past master at it.  He told me:  "Boy, if you're a salesman, you'll never be hungry."

I got to thinking about my uncle as I followed the negotiations between President Obama and House Speaker Boehner over the past few days.  I'm beginning to think Obama took lessons from my uncle!

If you recall, Obama said he would seek 800 billion in new revenues (taxes)  BEFORE the negotiations began.  Once the negotiations officially began he doubled that figure to  1.6 trillion.  And Boehner fell for it -- offering 800 billion -- which was exactly what Obama wanted in the first pace.  Negotiations OVER!  From that point forward anything Obama got/gets from Boehner was/is pure gravy.

It has been my experience, over the years, that one of the fine points of negotiating is the ability to say NO. For "no" to be effective as a negotiating tool, you must mean it -- and your opposite in the negotiation must know that you, in fact, mean NONothing focuses the buyer more than suddenly having that which he wants forbidden him. Saying "NO" does that. 

Then, walk away. 

You haven't won -- but you haven't lost, either.  You are no worse off than before the negotiations began.  And next time, your opposing number will be extremely wary that you may well cut off negotiations and walk away BEFORE he gets what he wants -- AGAIN!

There are times when a bad deal is much worse than no deal at all.  That may very well be exactly where we are in America today with the so-called "fiscal cliff" looming.  I am convinced that Obama's tax increases will further smother business and prolong what is laughingly called a recovery, or, push us into another recession. (Of course you have to "suspend disbelief" and allow yourself to believe that we have exited the last recession, which I don't.)  If we go over the cliff we can expect a similar set of circumstances up to, and including, a possible recession.

Oh, and Obama demanding the authority to raise the debt ceiling when he wants, by as much as he wants, well, that is not going to happen. Obama KNOWS it's not going to happen.  It is another negotiating tactic.

No matter which way we eventually go, Obama has won.  Either way, he gets the tax increase he wants so he can continue to squander the taxpayers money. And he will -- with the able assistance of the democrats in Congress.  

Even better for Obama and the democrats, the republicans, the GOP, will get the blame for all the bad stuff coming down the pike.

You would THINK the Republican Party would get tired of being the democrats punching bag.  You'd THINK they'd toughen up and make a fight of it.  But they won't.  They can't.  That kind of fight is not in them.

The country needs a political party that will take the fight to the democrats and keep pounding them -- relentlessly -- even when they are victorious over the democrats.  If anything is at all clear after this last presidential election it is the old adage that "nice guys finish last." 

I don't think a political party fitting the description above even exists today.  Until it does, Americans had better get used to being ruled by the socialist rules of the Democratic Party.

 © J. D. Longstreet

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