Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

"The Wall," negotiation, compromise and the federal government shutdown

After Newt Gingrich and Donald Graham, former publisher of the Washington Post, wrote an op-ed ("Fund the Wall and save the Dreamers") suggesting the Democrats in the House accede to $5 billion in funding for a wall along the US-Mexican border in return for legislation legalizing "Dreamers", the Washington Post and others in the media have suggested this is a good idea.

I don't think so.

The Wall is really really odious.  Trump really really wants it.

I will never read "The Art of the Deal," but it's obvious that when there is such asymmetricity, you ask for a lot more than one thing.  One for one is hardly a good enough trade.  The Democrats "have Trump over a barrel."

I'd demand a whole lot more:

- an increase in the federal gasoline excise tax
- ending plans to reduce requirements for motor vehicle fleet efficiency requirents
- stop the artificially induced delays for funding transit
- renewing and making permanent the Land and Water Conservation Fund
- ending plans to reduce environmental controls on coal plants
- funding promotion and sales of Obamacare
- putting in some kind of restrictions on stock buybacks
- eliminating the exemption for full taxation on "carried interest"
- releasing Trump tax returns
- dealing with Trump's emoluments problem

To get those things, which in the current situation are almost impossible, such as increasing the gas tax, which hasn't been increased in 25 years, it's worth wasting $5 billion on a terrible thing with limited return on investment.

From "11 Winning Negotiation Tactics From Donald Trump's 'The Art of the Deal'", Inc. Magazine:

1. Think big

"I like thinking big. I always have. To me it's very simple: if you're going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big."

5. Use your leverage

"The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you're dead."



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