Monday, March 18, 2013

How to Negotiate

The Republican House just submitted a laughable budget.   Note, Obama didn't do much better - both budgets lack specifics.  The Office of Management and Budget - OMB - decide not to judge how much either would save/cost because they didn't have enough detail.

But the GOP version was an insult, not an attempt at a real budget.   The GOP version included a total repeal of Obamacare 'to save money'.  This is like asking your boss for a raise and adding "Oh, and I want the legal right to sleep with your wife as well".

Please note that Republican House has passed other attempts to repeal Obamacare.  All of them went down in flames, never getting past the Senate, let a lone having to be vetoed by the President.

Not just once, multiple times.  How many times?

Here's a news story from July of last year, claiming 33 times.

Did they stop after 33?  No.  Note, that 33 includes attempts to repeal large sections of it, as opposed to the entire thing.   But we all know that the 'part' they try to repeal is core of it - the individual mandate.  

The point is that this has been before and failed so many times. So what's going on?  Are the Republicans morons?  Do they not know it won't work?   No.  They are passing symbolic votes to appeal to their base.  But they either don't know or don't care that doing so prevents a real budget from happening.

Here, let me explain how ANY negotiation works.

First, you don't start out with one goal.  That's for suckers.  Instead you start out with 3 goals,  then calculate 2 more, for a total of 5.

The three goals are, in order:
  1. What you would be willing to take.  (barely doable)
  2. What you expect to get.  (desirable)
  3. What you reasonably could hope to get.  (dream offer)

Next you look at those three goals.  Figure out how much value is between them.  Call that your 'base units'.   If we were just talking about money (but very few negotiations are just about money), then it is easy.  I'll give you a pure money example.

Lets say you are looking for a new job.  Your current job pays 60k (welcome to the middle class).  There is no way you would change jobs, losing seniority, vacation days, 401K contributions, etc. for anything less than 66k.  So 66K is your 'willing to take' number.  Any lower and you don't change jobs.  You think you are easily worth 70k, and you can see someone desperate for you paying 75K.

Those are your numbers, 66, 70 and 75.

Next you have to figure out what a 'low ball' number your opponent might offer.  Anything less than that means they are not serious about hiring.    From your research, you find that people with no experience might work for 60k.   Anything less than that and your potential new employer is wasting your time.  They simply are not looking for someone.   If they even mention a number lower than 60k, forget about getting the job, walk away - they either don't know what they are doing, or are not serious about hiring someone of your caliber.

Now your numbers are 60 (low-ball), 66 (barely doable), 70 (desirable) 75 (dream pay).

All the numbers differ from between 4-6k.   So add on 5k, to your dream pay, and you get 80k.  If they ask you for a number before telling you anything else, that is the one you give.  It is higher than your dream pay and most likely will not be accepted. But who knows, you could get lucky.

You do not under any circumstance ask for 90k.  That is ridiculously too high and will get you laughed at and dismissed, just as if someone were to offer you 50k.  Asking for 90k (or trying to end Obama-Care) is the equivalent of saying "Oh, and in addition to the pay, I also want to sleep with your wife."

It is not an attempt to actually negotiate, it is an attempt to disrupt the negotiation (or prove you are a moron unsuited for the job.)

A good negotiator asks for the 80k, is countered with 60k, and meet at 70k.   Both sides demonstrate:

  1. Knowledge of the value of the work
  2. A desire for profit
  3. A willingness to be reasonable
  4. Good negotiating skills

Asking to repeal Obamacare (or just major parts of it), is the equivalent of asking to sleep with your new employers wife.  For God's sake it has the President's NAME in it. It's his legacy, the one thing that everyone will remember about him.  Both sides used it as a major plank in their 2012 election campaign and Obama won.

Frankly, I think Obama would be more willing to let Paul Ryan sleep with Michelle, than to repeal ObamaCare as part of the budget.   Fifty years from now, when they talk about President Obama it will be "First Black President, killed Osama Bin Laden, Reformed Health Care".  He isn't giving up that last statement.

Trying to include it's repeal proves the GOP is NOT serious at all about negotiating, instead they are just pontificating, playing to the base, and pretending to work.

The thing is America KNOWS what you are doing - all of America.  That includes Democrats, Republicans an Independents.

Anyone that is not already a died-in-the-wool Republican knows it is a lie, not real negotiation

And we will remember it in 2014 when the entire House goes up for re-election again - this time without the super-strong, just-gerrymandered election districts you built up last time.   You better pray to god the typical mid-cycle anti-incumbent-president effect counters your stupidity.  It doesn't always work that way.  Because that's the only thing that can save the GOP from yet another huge loss in 2014.

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