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No. of Recommendations: 28
I've made a number of posts in the past bit pointing that Trump isn't very good at negotiating. One thing he consistently does is start with a big opening, and then back off later, presumably getting what he really wanted the whole time. That's called anchoring, and it is a common negotiating tactic, especially in sales. For example, the original price is $100, but the sale price is only $80! The $100 figure gets anchored in your mind as the value, and so $80 sounds pretty good. The problem with making the anchor too big is that people think you are bluffing, and the anchor doesn't work. Interesting article in the NYT today on this very topic regarding Mexico's views of Trump and NAFTA:

But on Wednesday, the suggestion from the White House that Mr. Trump was finalizing an executive order to begin the process of withdrawing the United States from Nafta revealed a different, more experienced Mexico: one learning to live with what it considers Mr. Trump’s bluster and stagecraft, and not inclined to react publicly too quickly.

“It seems like he’s sitting at a poker table bluffing rather than making serious decisions,” said Senator Armando Ríos Piter, a Mexican legislator. “In front of a bluffer, you always have to maintain a firm and dignified position.”

...In interviews with politicians, analysts, economists, business leaders and former diplomats, a general sentiment had emerged throughout the day on Wednesday that Mr. Trump’s threat to withdraw from the treaty using an executive order was mostly a piece of political theater — aimed as much at his voting base as at Mexico and Canada — and not something to get terribly worked up about.


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/27/world/americas/mexico-tru...

In other words when Trump threatened to withdraw from NAFTA, the Mexicans simply rejected the anchor. Only a few hours later, Trump reversed his position on NAFTA and the Mexicans got what they wanted (for the US to remain in NAFTA) without having to give up anything in return. Mexico played Trump like a fiddle.

In an earlier post today, I mentioned how Trump was trying to negotiate with the Democrats on health care by offering them two things, neither of which the Democrats wanted. Since the Democrats didn't want those things it made rejecting Trump's offer a no-brainer. From the same article (emphasis mine):

Antonio Garza, a former United States ambassador to Mexico, called Mr. Trump’s possible executive order “hardball,” adding, “It’s probably not the way to deal with a counterparty that is both a longtime trading partner and critical to so many security, immigration and counterterrorism initiatives.”

The pros use words like "counterparty." Pro negotiators don't try to beat the other side, the pros understand that most of the time the best way to get what you want is to help the other side get what they want. It isn't just about NAFTA, there is all this other stuff too. Sure, you can go hardball on one thing and "beat" the other side. But you miss out on getting lots of other things you want too. Smart negotiators realize there are lots of things that we place a high value on that Mexico places a low value on, and we can have them for just asking. And vice versa. Both sides can wind up with a lot by simply trying to understand each others' interests. If you go hardball, you don't get those wins.

A great book on negotiating I recommend for everyone is called "Getting More" by Stuart Diamond.

https://smile.amazon.com/Getting-More-Negotiate-Succeed-Work...

One thing Diamond teaches in the book is the hardball, used car salesman tactics like Trumps uses actually aren't all that effective, and there are many more better, more effective techniques that work better, especially over the long term. One thing he says never to do is exactly what Trump did: Get caught bluffing. Because if you get caught once, you will be viewed a bluffer forever.

I hope the lower level negotiators understand those lessons, because the boss sure doesn't.
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No. of Recommendations: 4
And ripped from today's headlines. Here is another example of Trump being a terrible negotiator.

Trump has demanded that South Korea pay for a missile defense system that is being installed by the U.S. We want it because gives us leverage over North Korean and China. But the South Koreans don't really want it, and were thinking about backing out anyway.

The South Korean government had been reluctant to deploy the system, aimed at guarding against the North Korean threat, because it would anger China, its biggest trading partner. The U.S. military urged Seoul to deploy the system, and the government finally agreed in July last year. Under the accord, the United States would pay for the system while South Korea would supply the land for it.

But it has remained controversial. Fierce opposition mounted when the U.S. military moved key pieces of THAAD equipment onto the deployment site in the middle of the night this week. Pressure to make South Korea pay for THAAD is likely to boost support for liberal presidential candidate Moon Jae-in, who has vowed to review the previous government’s decision to host the system.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-south-korea-mystific...

South Korea's obvious response would be (and sounds like maybe will be), just to say no thank you to the missile defense. So we lose the leverage we wanted, and they get rid of something they place a low priority on. That's a very unequal outcome.

But it gets worse, because Trump wants to renegotiate a trade deal. But now South Korea can use the missile defense as a bargain chip to get something that they want more.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
<<South Korea's obvious response would be (and sounds like maybe will be), just to say no thank you to the missile defense. So we lose the leverage we wanted, and they get rid of something they place a low priority on. That's a very unequal outcome.
>>


The United States obvious response is to pack up our troops and equipment and wish South Korea good luck as we leave.



Too bad Trump hasn't taken that course of action.



Seattle Pioneer
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No. of Recommendations: 29
The United States obvious response is to pack up our troops and equipment and wish South Korea good luck as we leave.
Too bad Trump hasn't taken that course of action.


Wow. The last time we followed a policy that stupid we were embroiled in a war that cost 50,000 American lives.

And, of course, you would be handing Dear Leader one of the richest economies on the planet, chock full of resources with which he could triple, quaduple his stockpile of nuclear weapons almost overnight.

And you would destabilize an entire quarter of the globe, from which we get nearly all of our technology, including the rare earths and other minerals that are crucial to putting chips and motherboards into the rockets, jets, submarines, satellites, and aircraft carriers that make up the core of our defense system.

I've heard of shooting yourself in the foot, but you just took aim at everything from your armpits down.
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No. of Recommendations: 11
The United States obvious response is to pack up our troops and equipment and wish South Korea good luck as we leave.

Sounds like you went to the Trump school of negotiation. You offer a deal that no one wants, and then you keep negotiating away your chips until the other party has the whole pot and you're busted.

There is a reason why Trump doesn't own Trump Casinos and Resorts.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
<<I've heard of shooting yourself in the foot, but you just took aim at everything from your armpits down. >>



I presume you are unhappy that Clinton and Obama sat idly by allowing North Korea to acquire nuclear arms and the missiles to deliver them?

They might have taken effective action to end that threat. Instead, of course, they gave us "peace." Peace then and a nuclear armed North Korea.


Of course, China buys coal from North Korea, it's most important export. But American environmentalists are blocking export of American coal to China, giving China every incentive to keep North Korea afloat.



Seattle Pioneer
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No. of Recommendations: 1
<< No. of Recommendations: 17

The United States obvious response is to pack up our troops and equipment and wish South Korea good luck as we leave.
Too bad Trump hasn't taken that course of action.

Wow. The last time we followed a policy that stupid we were embroiled in a war that cost 50,000 American lives.
>>


MacArthur has been proven right---- "There is no substitute for victory."


Appeasement has produced a nuclear armed Kim Jon Un.



\Seattle Pioneer
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No. of Recommendations: 32
I presume you are unhappy that Clinton and Obama sat idly by allowing North Korea to acquire nuclear arms and the missiles to deliver them?

Interesting theory, other than it is completely false. North Korea acquired nuclear arms on Bush's watch. Quite a good article by Fred Kaplan explaining Bush's numerous and easily preventable mistakes that lead directly to a madman obtaining weapons of mass destruction.

On Oct. 4, 2002, officials from the U.S. State Department flew to Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, and confronted Kim Jong-il’s foreign ministry with evidence that Kim had acquired centrifuges for processing highly enriched uranium, which could be used for building nuclear weapons. To the Americans’ surprise, the North Koreans conceded. It was an unsettling revelation, coming just as the Bush administration was gearing up for a confrontation with Iraq. This new threat wasn’t imminent; processing uranium is a tedious task; Kim Jong-il was almost certainly years away from grinding enough of the stuff to make an atomic bomb.But the North Koreans had another route to nuclear weapons–a stash of radioactive fuel rods, taken a decade earlier from its nuclear power plant in Yongbyon. These rods could be processed into plutonium–and, from that, into A-bombs–not in years but in months. Thanks to an agreement brokered by the Clinton administration, the rods were locked in a storage facility under the monitoring of international weapons-inspectors. Common sense dictated that–whatever it did about the centrifuges–the Bush administration should do everything possible to keep the fuel rods locked up.

Unfortunately, common sense was in short supply.


http://washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/may-2004/rolling-blund...

I see Trump is channeling the Bush playbook of simply handing our enemies everything they want.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
<<I presume you are unhappy that Clinton and Obama sat idly by allowing North Korea to acquire nuclear arms and the missiles to deliver them?

Interesting theory, other than it is completely false. North Korea acquired nuclear arms on Bush's watch. Quite a good article by Fred Kaplan explaining Bush's numerous and easily preventable mistakes that lead directly to a madman obtaining weapons of mass destruction. >>


It's quite true that Bush helped enable North Korea too. In extenuation of Bush, he did label both Iran and North Krea as the "Axis of Evil" and he was busily engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Seattle Pioneer5
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Appeasement has produced a nuclear armed Kim Jon Un.

I have to agree with this. I know it's unpopular, likely because the alternatives are really unpleasant, but we should have taken a hard line with DPRK at least two leaders ago. Now they're nuclear. If we're really stupid we'll let them finish developing a delivery system that can threaten the West Coast.

Condolences to Seoul, but L.A and Seattle and S.F. have to come first for us. They just do.
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Appeasement has produced a nuclear armed Kim Jon Un.

I have to agree with this. I know it's unpopular, likely because the alternatives are really unpleasant, but we should have taken a hard line with DPRK at least two leaders ago. Now they're nuclear. If we're really stupid we'll let them finish developing a delivery system that can threaten the West Coast.

Back up the thread a little bit. SeattlePioneer laments that Trump hasn't removed U.S. troops from South Korea, which obviously would reduce our leverage over North Korea. Then he laments we haven't used enough leverage on North Korea.

Those two positions aren't entirely consistent.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
SP is entirely consistent in his inconsistency.

PF
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No. of Recommendations: 37
Interesting theory, other than it is completely false. North Korea acquired nuclear arms on Bush's watch. Quite a good article by Fred Kaplan explaining Bush's numerous and easily preventable mistakes that lead directly to a madman obtaining weapons of mass destruction.

Oh, it's worse than that.

The North Korean nuclear program began in 1956, when Eisenhower was President. (A Republican.) The Soviet Union began sending scientists to North Korea to train them in nuclear weapons technology. We knew about it, and Eisenhower decided to send arms to South Korea, which helped produce the formal and reactionary cooperation agreement between North Korea and the Soviet Union.

The next significant phase came from 1980-1985, under Reagan (A Republican) when North Korea built the Yongbyon yellowcake processing factory. In 1984 the North Koreans had a reactor capable of producing plutonium.

In 1990, under George HW Bush (A Republican) the US knew the North Koreans were conducting high-explosives tests, a necessary step in producing a nuclear bomb, and our response was ... to remove our nuclear weapons from South Korea, in hopes of getting North Korea to observe the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. They didn't.

In 1993 Clinton (A Democrat) proposed a deal freezing North Koreans nuclear development in return for fuel and food aid. Republicans went nuts, but Clinton went ahead. The deal was weakened, and was not ultimately successful. In 1998 North Korea fired its first missile which went over Japan. In protest Japan cut off some of its aid to the regime.

Things begin to heat up dramatically as George Bush (A Republican) takes office. Through much bluster and bravado, both sides fail to agree to much of anything. North Korea fires off many missiles, and by 2006 explodes its first nuclear weapon. George Bush (a Republican) has been in office for 5 years now.

By 2009 North Korea has withdrawn from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty, the six-party talks, or any other negotiations aimed at lessening tensions in the region.

So we can see how it's all Clinton's and Obama's fault, can't we? Seattle Pioneer has been apprised of these facts before, but has an instinctive reaction to blaming all ill on Democrats, rather than trying to understand the reality of how we got to where we are today. It seems there is an entire group of people similarly afflicted, and they are called "Republicans."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_North_Korean...
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No. of Recommendations: 11
In extenuation of Bush, he did label both Iran and North Krea as the "Axis of Evil"

What is this fascination on the right with labels? How did labeling those two countries help anything? Particularly in Iran, it helped the hard-line anti-American factions against the more moderate ones, allowing them to paint America as their enemy.
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No. of Recommendations: 3
What is this fascination on the right with labels?

Where have you been?
The "right" is very tribally insular and afraid of their own shadows.
You know... the boogie man is always coming to get them.
And the boogie man is a different color. Or sex. Or speaks funny. Or has a different religion.
When you can slap a label on them, you have grouped them together so you can get them all rounded up as a target for your hate.

AM
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No. of Recommendations: 0
<<Back up the thread a little bit. SeattlePioneer laments that Trump hasn't removed U.S. troops from South Korea, which obviously would reduce our leverage over North Korea. Then he laments we haven't used enough leverage on North Korea.

Those two positions aren't entirely consistent. >>


My personal bias would have been to use our power to keep North Korea Nuke free BEFORE they have nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them.


Pretty much too late to do much now, except at great risk. Not a risk I favor taking.


Seattle Pioneer
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No. of Recommendations: 0
<<So we can see how it's all Clinton's and Obama's fault, can't we? Seattle Pioneer has been apprised of these facts before, but has an instinctive reaction to blaming all ill on Democrats, rather than trying to understand the reality of how we got to where we are today.>>


Oh, there's plenty of blame to go around. Everyone beginning with Truman has been kicking the North Korea can down the road. The problem is, we're pretty close to being at the end of the road.

What options do we really have at this point? I'm open to suggestion.



Seattle Pioneer
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No. of Recommendations: 0
<<In extenuation of Bush, he did label both Iran and North Krea as the "Axis of Evil"

What is this fascination on the right with labels? How did labeling those two countries help anything? Particularly in Iran, it helped the hard-line anti-American factions against the more moderate ones, allowing them to paint America as their enemy. >>


Would it have made a difference if Britain and France could have summoned up the energy to label Nazi Germany the Axis of Evil in 1933?


Seattle Pioneer
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No. of Recommendations: 1
<<What is this fascination on the right with labels? >>


What WOULD my liberal friends do if they didn't have suitable names to call people they dont like? Racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic etc etc.



Seattle Pioneer
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Hi there.

Now that TMF has shut down many of my favorite boards I just wanted to let you know that some of us have decamped to Facebook, in a group called “RELE Refugees.” Mostly from Retire Early Liberal Edition but a few from elsewhere. You’re invited to join.

Yes, we all loathe Zuckerberg, and lots hate Facebook, and aren’t used to the format, and you can’t hang on to your TMF name, but it’s all that we have until somebody thinks of something better. If you’d like to join, please do. If not, please ignore me, as so many do ;)
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