Sam offers Fred $10, but Fred wants $30. To solve the problem, they call in their buddy, “The Arbitrator”, who decides $20 is fair. Sam pays more, Fred gets more.
The next week, Fred asks Sam for $30 again, but Sam says he’s only got $13 in his wallet. Fred says Sam is holding out. They go to The Arbitrator, who says Sam isn’t holding out, but he should check back at the house and he could probably come up with more than $13. To be fair, The Arbitrator says Sam should give Fred $17.50.
The next week, in anticipation of the request, Sam offers Fred $10 and explains that’s really all he can afford, assuming he gets paid next week. Fred still wants $30, but says he can live with with $20 so long as Sam kicks in an extra $.30 a week to help him buy a pack of gum. They turn to The Arbitrator, who thinks Fred is asking a bit much, given Sam’s current financial situation, but in the spirit of cooperation agrees that Sam could handle $12.50 along with the $.30 per week.
Then, The Arbitrator says from now on, he’ll take the last best offer from each of them and pick one.
Sam prepares for Fred’s next request. Based on past precedent, the Arbitrator has never awarded exactly what either of them has proposed before, but “compromise” always results in Sam paying more than he offered. Sam assumes he’d better build a compromise-type number into his next offer so that it has a realistic chance of getting picked. As usual, Sam expects he’ll have about $10 in his wallet when Fred comes calling, but he scrapes together a few more bucks–some from his kid’s allowance–knowing that, based on past transactions, Fred will want more and will get more–he always has.
When the time comes, Sam offers Fred $15 and the $.25 gum subsidization and crosses his fingers. Fred asks for $20 along with $.30 per week for gum–the price has gone up. The Arbitrator looks at both offers. The price of gum has gone up and Sam and Fred are only $2 apart as far as the main nut. Besides, Winston, their friend from East Greenwich, has been loaning their other friend James $25 regularly since last year and Sam makes almost as much as Winston. And Sam has always managed to come up with more than his original offer.
The Arbitrator sides with Fred.
Sam moves out of state.
Fred walks up to Winston…