22 December 2005

Ignorance in Numbers

Back in early 2004, bus drivers for the MCTO, the regional transit system in greater St. Paul/ Minneapolis, went on strike. There were plenty of predictable examples of media-generated weeping over the who was hit hardest by the lack of buses, blah, blah, blah, but after about two weeks or so, and the only lessons learned were that street crime and shoplifting were down, automobile traffic levels were flat, and that this city is nowhere near dependent on public transit. Not anything like real cities.

What I took away from it was anger in seeing a single labor(?) union allowed to idle the billions of dollars of publicly-owned transportation infrastructure; they were not the union's buses to idle, they belong to all of us.

Like the MCTO strike, the New York City transit strike is run by the same union thugs, but New York City is clearly a place that needs busses, subways, ferrys, tunnels, hovercraft and particle-based transport.

From the desk of Jane Galt:
The people being hurt by the strike, unfortunately, are mostly people who make less than the transit workers do. Small businesses are being gutted by this; the last few days before Christmas is the busiest time of the year for most retail establishments, and their customers can't get to them. One of the news shows had small businessmen complaining that this was going to bankrupt them, and I've no doubt that it's true for at least some of New York's retail stores, which often operate on a shoestring. Meanwhile, poor workers, who tend to work hourly, are losing salary that they can ill-afford.
The TWU in New York is so blinded by hubris they cannot see that they are angering and alienating people across the spectrum; the Wall Street trader, the parents of pre-schoolers, the service employees, the immigrant looking for jobs, etc. The only good that comes of this whole affair is that taxpayers are reminded of the economic fantasy-land into which the public union employees are deposited.

Craig posted this on WCBS-TV's website:

Their greed and total lack of caring for tens of thousands of merchants and millions of riders and tourists daily on a holiday week is inexcusable. How dare they cause this kind of loss and inconvenience to so many for their "bad treatment" by the city. They are public employees. They work for us. They are not entitled to balk at what we, the people, are willing to pay for the services they render. It is supply and demand. It is capitalism. The alternative is communism. Imagine if Starbucks employees walked out on the job because they couldn't get $60,000 a year, retire with pension at 52, and couldn't get fired for bad job performance, etc. but to pay for these things, a cup of coffee would need to cost $8. That is insane.

If there is a surplus, why not roll back the prices of commutation? Why give ANY more to these unskilled thugs who think menial laborers (many of which have no higher education or skills) are entitled to more rights, benefits than the rest of us. I, nor any of my friends or acquaintances have not had a raise in years. We get no insurance or retirement benefits. Why would a guy who is basically a glorified taxi driver or cashier have these excess benefits when the rest of the non-communist world does not????

There should be salary caps for government jobs. If you don't like the caps, then find a job that does pay more. In this world where skilled labor jobs are being farmed out to India, Pakistan and various other Third world countries, that earn less than $50 a year for highly skilled IT jobs, how dare these unskilled laborers have such outrageous demands. They will bankrupt the country, and they don't care. As long as they retire at 52 and the Mafia (read as TWU) gets their taste, they could care less that their actions contribute to the demise of our society.

Where's Reagan when you need him?

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