Compromise and priorities

posted by
March 13, 2012
by Bryan Caplan  
Posted in Commentary

"Most people's presumption, I suspect, is that willingness to compromise is a sign that you don't take an issue seriously. Imagine a pro-life advocate crusading for a '15% reduction in the abortion rate.' But once you understand expressive voting theory, Will's story is fairly plausible. Unwillingness to compromise clearly reveals high priority if you have the strength to actually get the extreme outcome you want; see e.g. the Allies' 'unconditional surrender' policy in World War II. For everyone bargaining from a weaker position, however, unwillingness to compromise often means you won't make any headway at all." (08/13/12)  

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