Thursday, July 21, 2011

Debt Ceiling Compromise As Told Through A Matchbox Car Parable


I have twin sons and they have a bucket of matchbox cars.  Over the years, that bucket has become so full that it is overflowing and cracking.  They don’t have enough room in that one bucket for all of their cars.  They have approximately 20 cars too many to fit in the bucket without it splitting wide open.  I sat my sons down, Daniel on the right and Dennis on left.  I explained to them the gravity of the problem and that they must eliminate 20 cars or the bucket will split open and not be able to hold any of the cars.  Daniel on the right said that they need to identify the 20 cars to get rid of for the sake of the otheret cars.  Dennis on the left said he couldn’t imagine getting rid of any of the cars.  Dennis suggested that they buy some more cars as a way of fixing the bucket.   He went on to accuse Daniel of not caring for the old or cheap cars.  They debated with each other all afternoon.  Finally, they came to a compromise.  Dennis said they would work together to identify 20 cars to pull out of the bucket over the next 10 days.  Daniel agreed because he felt the pressure from his other siblings that he needed to compromise above all things.  As they worked out the details, Dennis’ older brother Max asked him  why he would be willing to give up some cars when he seemed so passionate against it.  Dennis said that while he did strike a deal with Daniel, he will actually take a look at the 20 cars they agreed to get rid of and pick out ones he will still plan on keeping.  Max didn’t understand.  “ But that isn’t what you agreed to” he said to Dennis.  Dennis said that compromising with Daniel was just a way of tricking Daniel into getting what he wanted.  Meanwhile, Daniel busily set about picking out cars despite hearing Dennis’ response to Max.

1 comment:

Kansas Bob said...

Good analogy. Sadly the leaders in congress that will never get anything done are the ones on the extremes who act like children because they are not getting their way. And, as usual, the adults in the middle are forced to clean up their mess and get something done.