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Dealers Take All

Dealers Take All

It is Not about Compromise

Friday, 05 August 2011 14:39 Last Updated on Friday, 05 August 2011 14:43 Written by Evelyn Pyburn, Big Sky Business Journal
As one listens to the clamor coming from Washington DC (and the media) for compromise, and hears the unquestioned conclusion, of one and all, that compromise is a good thing, one has to wonder how do people come to laud such a ridiculous idea?

It is, after all, upon a road, well-paved by compromises, that we come to this national crisis. It’s been a decades-long series of compromises that has delivered us to this point. We’ve done “compromise,” and now know its results.

Perhaps compromise is a necessity in some situations in life, and even a common sense approach to dealing with some things, but seldom when dealing with anything of grave importance. Compromises work beautifully when sorting through subjective choices, but never when dealing with objective reality. Reality will assert itself, regardless of your compromise.

To think that a compromise is good, must surely be to conclude there is no right or wrong. Or else – and this is the more probable reason — it is in anticipation of being the undeserving beneficiary of the compromise. For example, a thief would have a different view about the benefits of a compromise, than would his victim. For a thief, it’s a win-win. And so compromises often are, for the perpetrators of injustice. Hence, the popularity of compromise and the reason for the resounding joy when its victims acquiesce.

A compromise sacrifices the right to the wrong, the good to the bad, when dealing with reality. A compromise to have Neapolitan ice cream is an expedient remedy when disagreeing about whether to have chocolate or strawberry, but not at all if one is deathly allergic to strawberries.

A compromise might be a more beneficial solution when it cuts short losses that are sure to come from an unresolved issue. Litigants in civil disputes very commonly accept the alternative of a compromise, not because they wouldn’t benefit from a just decision, but because they expect the process in coming to that conclusion to be more costly than their losses in the compromise. In such a case the litigant in the wrong, wins.

Only in politics are compromisers viewed with virtue. In the real world, a compromiser is mentally taken note-of as untrustworthy and troublesome, by those who must deal with him. That’s not because the politicians aren’t dealing with serious issues, the issues just aren’t serious to them. They are players in a process in which just coming to some – any – decision is considered victory. Therefore, someone who compromises easily in Washington DC is to be admired and appreciated as someone who eases the process, which is a prevailing value.

They seldom have to live with the outcome of their decisions, so right and wrong are irrelevant considerations. The consequences of their decisions befall others whose plight is quite often never identified as being associated with their compromise, at least not enough so as to effect the only reality that matters for them, re-election. For politicians there is no wrong decision, because they have the power to shift the consequences to others.

This is hard for most people to understand, because we live in a world where consequences are not easily shifted to others. Reality holds us accountable for the decisions we make. And, many people make the mistake of believing that that is understood in Washington DC.

Imagine running a women’s apparel shop with a partner and having to make the decision of what lines to carry in order to have a successful business. You and your partner may disagree about what the right choices are, and you may resolve the conflict by buying half of one line and half of another. No matter who was right or who was wrong, at best you will make only half the profits as you would have made with the right choice – and given the nature of business – the nature of reality – half the profits won’t be enough to stay in business. The compromise will deliver you to the same position as if you made the wrong choice.

That is the world most of us live in. Not only do we understand that compromise is not a winning hand, but that within the realm of reality there is no multiple choice when it comes to getting the right answer. Usually, there is only one right answer and success in life depends upon one’s ability to identify it.

That is the understanding of reality that gives rise to the Tea Party. It is this understanding about compromises that causes them to dig in their heels. They see the road ahead, and they know how we came to be in this position in the first place.

As the Democrats and Republicans wrangle over their decisions in dealing with the US financial crisis, it seems no one really cares about the conclusion so long as they reach a glorious compromise. They seem not to care that unless they come up with the right solution, reality will impose its solution upon the citizens, oblivious to their compromising antics. In the end who wins, the Democrats or the Republicans, will be irrelevant.

It’s not the grand compromise that America needs, but the right answers.

From the Big Sky Business Journal

The ‘morality of compromise’ sounds contradictory. Compromise is usually a sign of weakness, or an admission of defeat. Strong men don’t compromise, it is said, and principles should never be compromised.

Andrew Carnegie




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