Just in Time for 2006: Libertarian Blog Flame War

flame throwerGrab some popcorn, this one might get good (I suggest watching from a distance, as we’ve really already had our say on the TWU/MTA strike matter):

No Treason fires the initial shot:

It was amusing to see someone who calls herself Jane Galt chiding workers for striking selfishly. Bloggers at Catallarchy were particularly vocal in defending the oil companies, but the only mention of the strike I can find on that blog just quotes Galt lamenting how strikers made victims of millions of New Yorkers. I can’t imagine them letting similar charges against oil companies pass without comment.

Jane Galt fires back:

[snip…]I hadn’t any sympathy for the union, whose complaints about their jobs seemed either unfixable–what was the MTA supposed to do, exactly, about rude passengers or the lack of bathrooms along bus routes?–or unworthy; I just don’t think that anyone is entitled to retire at 55.[…snip]

(it’s much longerread it all)

No Treason flanks from the right (property rights, that is):

While the strike has so far deprived me of one free lunch and drinks with some friends from grad school, even I was tempted to endorse one acquaintance’s plan to go to Seattle and Cleveland and encourage the fire departments that serve these yahoos to go on strike before engaging in a spot of selective arson.

Burn out the wreckers of the glorious People’s Transit System!

And this is what passes for libertarianism?

Who will win? Who cares! (We are so easily amused)

7 Comments
  1. I love watching libertarians get all “you’re unpure, burn the witch.”

    It’s like high school all over again.

  2. There are so many angles to the transit strike that it would be silly to expect everyone to come up with the same answers.

    Starting, of course, with the idea of government (i.e. taxpayer) provided transportation, of course. But:

    So it’s against the law for “public” employees to strike. Good going, New York … labor conscription is so 1919.

    Either you have the right to quit your job (unless you have voluntarily entered into a contract binding you to stay there), or you don’t. And if you have that right, and everyone else you work with has that right, then the right is just as valid when it’s exercised by all of you as when it’s exercised by one of you.

    Strikes, of course, generally occur when a contract restricting mass walkoffs expires and is therefore no longer binding, and when a new contract has not been accepted by all parties involved.

    Don’t think the transit workers’ demands are reasonable? Fine — stop (and get your government to stop) patronizing the system.

  3. KipEsquire,

    “Don’t forget me! I was targeted by NT in that post too, and his own commenters there pretty much did my work for me.”

    Okay, so which one did your job of explaining how a law fining people for not working in the absence of a contract squares with a libertarian conception freedom of contract?

    —-

    Kennedy: Why aren’t libertarians commenting on the obvious injustice of outlawing strikes?

    KipEsquire: Because libertarians believe in freedom of contract. If you don’t like the terms of employment, which are made clear upfront, then don’t take the job.