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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

NYC Transit Strike- Government Monopoly

John Stossel's take on the NYC transit strike will make ideologues of both liberal and conservative bents scratch their heads. And maybe think.

Stossel explains that the right to strike for better wages is part of the free market. Our inherent property right to our labor and its fruits are equal to the property rights of the employers. But, the government as employer gets to use tactics unavailable to private employers--- the law that made such a strike illegal.

NYers may be happy that such a law exists but it replaces a better free market solution. Writes Stossel:

If private enterprise ran a city's buses, there would be many different bus companies, with many different contracts with their workers. If one bus company's workers walked out, trains and other bus lines would still be available. This would make a strike much less harmful to the public, but more dangerous to the company, which could find itself out of business. Some London subway-station workers just celebrated the new year with a 24-hour strike; London bus service, operated by private companies, was not interrupted. Too bad New York government, instead of privatizing the bus lines it runs, is taking over the lines operated by private companies.

Libertarians will explain that all functions people generally consider the jursidiction of government are better handled by private companies. We have written about the privatization of water services in Atlanta. There the private company providing the public water is doing it at 60% of the cost, better service, replacement of long-degraded mains and the ability to fire the Company if warranted. Try firing a government agency.

(Even the Atlanta case included some City dissatisfaction with the private service. Notices of default resulted in marked improvements. Such is the natural effect of private enterprise. The customer gets what he wants to pay for.)

The strike proves the point of people who prefer competition over monopoly. Which in this case was a government monopoly. As Stossel points out, the NYC subway system was originally constructed by private companies. They were taken over the the government afterward. And run happily ever after.

2 Comments:

At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. » »

 
At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! » » »

 

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