Tuesday, December 20, 2005


New York City commuters are getting some exercise today; their transit system is on strike. Megan McArdle of Asymmetrical Information is pretty exercised too:
The union, meanwhile, is running ads on local cable whining that they didn't want to strike, they just had to because the MTA is so awful to them. This is not true. The union is very hard left, like transit unions in most places. I'm not sure why this should be; perhaps because most of the workers have to do very little to earn their pay. The train drivers don't actually, y'know, drive; the rails take care of that. I'm told that they could easily be replaced with the kind of self-driving systems you see in airports, if the union weren't so powerful. Admittedly, the conductors are highly skilled: it takes them years to learn to mumble into the announcement microphones in a secret language that no one in the entire world except them understands.
Fortunately, Minneapolis is too sprawling a place for public transportation to catch on enough for a strike to be painful. The last time the transit workers struck here, the work commute actually improved. Plus, there was less crime downtown.


It's all our fault, of course -- and by "our", I mean Republicans. Down here we have a Democrat Governor who wants to be President and a Democrat County Executive who (probably) wants to be Governor. No way were these guys going to jeopardize their political futures over a labor dispute, so they used their AWESOME influence to get the unions to agree to one of the worst contracts in history. The haggis will be in the fire in less than two years.

NYC, meanwhile, has a Republican mayor and a Republican governor. Do the math.

By Blogger Nicko McDave, at 10:16 AM  

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