Matt HealeyWednesday,14 August 2013

The Snap:

Why are we surprised that Congress gets nothing done? We elect them to not compromise which leads to an ineffectual governing body. I have mentioned that before, however the problem goes deeper than that. Even if we elected them to compromise, they would not have any time to work through negotiations with the opposition party.

The Download:

Negotiating a compromise is hard work. It takes a lot of time and effort. You have to understand the other person’s position, figure out what is important to them and what is important to you. You have to read between the lines and sift through the posturing and the outright lies while maintaining your posturing and your lies. If you think this is easy, then just think back to the last time you tried to make a trade in fantasy football. If trying to figure out the relative value of your Running Back compared to their Quarterback/Wide Receiver offer is difficult, then imagine the complexities in negotiating an agreement about things that actually matter between more than just two parties. That would take a lot of time and effort.

Time that apparently Congress members do not have. According to a presentation given to freshman Democrats as reported in The New York Times, they are expected to spend 4 hours a day fundraising and another 1 hour a day in strategic outreach. 5 hours of their day is spent raising money or influencing — strike that — being influenced by lobbyists and other interest groups. So 5 hours of an assumed 8 hour day is spent on non-congressional business. This is insane. What would your boss say if you spent the majority of your time trying to secure your next job? After all, that is exactly what fundraising is — trying to make sure you can get re-elected, rather than doing your current job. I imagine that you might find yourself looking for another job. But that is not the case with Congress.

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Hat Tips:

The New York Times, Image Credit: Flickr

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