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Could Washington Learn a Lot from the NFL?

This post was originally published on the Public Notice Research & Education Fund: Washington Could Learn a Lot Blog.

The answer is yes. At least according to an Examiner.com op-ed that details five lessons which politicians in Washington could learn from the compromise that ended the lockout on Monday.

Ryan Witt, the author of the op-ed, suggests that “no deal can be the worst deal” as only default (or a canceled season) can be considered the worst-case scenario. He contends that politicians must learn from players and owners and leave ideology, personality, and extremism by the door, and that any bargain must be reached before the last second arrives.

For each lesson, Witt points out that NFL owners and players initially behaved like politicians in Washington, but soon realized that pursuing perfection and empty grandstanding was not a recipe for success.

With a month left before the start of the 2011 season, owners and players changed their behavior and compromised. Had the professional football industry canceled this upcoming season, Americans would have lost more than their Sunday entertainment, as its ripple effects would have been felt throughout the US economy.

Considering the multi-trillion dollar U.S. economy, a far larger ripple effect could be felt if our nation’s fiscal health is not restored.

And avoiding those effects should not be difficult, at least according to Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, who noted, “I hope we gave a little lesson to the people in Washington because the debt crisis is a lot easier to fix than this deal was.”

So with less than a week before the August 2nd deadline, politicians in Washington may want to take a few lessons from the gridiron and come together for the significant spending cuts that must accompany any raise of the debt ceiling.



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