The fallacy of maximalist positioning in negotiations

Let’s say a guy is offered a job for $50,000 a year. If his response is to say that he really was looking for $65,000, then perhaps he has a chance of improving upon the employer’s initial offer. But if, instead, he tells the employer, “If you don’t pay me $10 million, I’ll walk,” the response isn’t likely to be, “Okay, how about $200,000?” Instead, the employer is more likely to say, “There’s the door.” …

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Demanding that Obama, having survived re-election with the Democratic Senate majority intact, defund this law in exchange for keeping the government running is like asking that hypothetical employer for $10 million. Expecting him to cave is pure fantasy. Do conservatives think that they are the only ones who can apply pressure? Do they somehow forget that there are liberal activists on the other side who would crucify Obama were he to give in to the defund effort?

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