“This is just a show they put on for themselves. Don’t worry,” is what a friend of mine who works for the National Football League (NFL) told me about the stall in talks between players, unions and owners that resulted in the lockout during July of 2011. Concurrently, Congress was in the midst of an ugly debate regarding the debt ceiling and I drew parallels between the two in an editorial published on August 4, 2011 entitled: On the brink.
In the editorial, I examined the effectiveness of the negotiating tactic of brinkmanship, concluding that the established and popular strategy defined as pushing things to the verge of disaster in order to achieve the most advantageous outcome for oneself was just a carnival of posturing that eventually led to an accord. I contended that everyone knew that this was just a show politicians put on for themselves and people shouldn’t worry.