Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Compromises

What a wimpy word, compromise that is.

Isn't it because politicians in Washington do nothing but make compromises that our country is in such troubles? Shouldn't we stand for something solid and absolute?

Well, you've gotta realize that in politics, there is rhetorics and then there is reality. You speak absolutes in rhetorics to whip up support, then you make trade-offs in policies to move things along.

Consider the problem of outsourcing.

Hi-tech companies in Silicon Valley support it because it promotes free-trade, lowers cost, raises productivity, and spurs economics growth in the area.

Manufacturers in Ohio are dead against it because it robs them of jobs, weighs down revenue, and brings recession to the area.

So who's right and who's wrong? Both are right and neither is wrong. Therefore people's representatives in Congress will have a fight where some are for it and others are against it. And this is exactly what should be happening -- precisely because the fight represents the underlying conflicts of interests in the constituents.

The language of the fight will be in the form of rhetorics: one side would say: you are evil because you are anti-free trade; the other would counter: you are immoral because you don't care the well-beings of working families.

In the end, however, the outcome of the fight will be in the form of a compromise. Outsourcing will continue and workers in traditional industries will get help. Again this is exactly what it should be.

So next time you are about to make a decision on politics, skip the rhetorics and get right down to the meat of the matter. It saves so much time and energy, not to mention money and other resources, and always gets you what you eventually get for real, which is what counts anyway.

Finally, heroics are for adolescents. Compromises are for adults.

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