Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police.

12/20/2005

Inside the right-wing mind

So, mass transit workers are striking in NYC, which is, of course, creating a mess of epic proportions, with people walking miles to work as the wind chill dips into single digits.

So who's to blame? Why, the union, of course - or so argues Evan Coyne Maloney, who I only know about because his little tirade was linked to approvingly by the one and only Instapundit.
...we should all give a big Christmas thank you to the Transit Workers Union, who in calling the strike, have become the Grinches for many New Yorkers. We should also reassess the wisdom of allowing our governments and transportation systems to be held hostage by unions.

I do not understand why unions aren't considered illegal cartels. If I wanted to become a subway train driver, I could not do so without first joining the union, whether I wanted to pay the union dues or not. What's the difference between that and being forced to pay protection money to the mafia? In either case, the mob or the union "protects" me (or my job), whether I want the protection or not.

Similarly, if a group of merchants got together to decide that they're going to sell gasoline at $10 a gallon, it would be considered illegal collusion, and the merchants would be prosecuted. So why can individuals band together to fix prices for labor? They are in effect merchants of their work, and they're colluding, via the union, to subvert the free market and set artificially high prices for what they are selling. And they are now effectively extorting the entire City of New York in order to ensure the perpetuation of their monopoly on the transit labor market.

It's too bad that neither Mayor Bloomberg nor Governor Pataki have the power or the backbone to do what President Reagan did when PATCO--the (former) air traffic controllers union--went on strike. If the transit workers don't want to show up and drive the trains, then the MTA should be free to hire people who do.
A couple of weeks ago, Ezra Klein pleaded with bloggers to stop "mocking the most pathetic arguments to emerge across the aisle" and opt for "actual engagement with the good, or at least sound, arguments that pop up across the aisle." While I sympathize with the sentiment, most of the arguments I see from across the aisle just lead me to wonder if their author has recently graduated from kindergarten, or if he's being held back until he can master those tricky 'Dick and Jane' books.

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