Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Broke College Grads Resent MTA Workers' Health Care Benefits

In a classic case of myopic class warfare triggered by a very annoying transit strike, a friend of mine just emailed some funny observations:

I have noticed around the office a bizarre "creative class" resentment against unionized people.

Humorous liberal response #1: I don't have health care, so why should this dude, who doesn't even have a college degree! Not in so many words, but...

Humorous liberal response #2: "This is only hurting the poor in the long run." Like: I'm not complaining on my own behalf, but as an advocate of the people.

Humorous liberal response #3: The MTA workers aren't friendly. Several people have mentioned this to me with a straight face as a reason they should have their benefits, health care, vacation time cut.

I have been surprised by the general fact that, for instance, people who support the NYU grad students feel more ambivalent about the MTA.

Most MTA employees don't get the luxurious comfort of the token-booth all day, or even the subway train, but work in the rat-infested muck of the tunnels, like miners, or in the depots fixing trains. It's a SHITTY job.

But even if there are worse off folks, work sucks. People should get as much money as they can get for it, and shouldn't put up with shit, that's my feeling.

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  • At 8:53 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    Yeah, I keep hearing that too. It's the old "Well my life sucks, why should theirs be any better?" routine. I've heard the college degree line in so many words.

    The only feeling seems to be "These workers already have it pretty decent. Do they really need to be screwing everybody else over?" And I would sympathize with that, except that the MTA are a bunch of lying scumbags.

    But what did you expect from people in that particular office, anyway? I mean, talk about getting paid to do nothing of value.

  • At 9:02 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Wait, at Harpers? Harpers is like the original blog.

    Anyhow, as I said to my friend, the only people greedier and lazier than unions are management.

    And anyhow, the MTA management will cost us more money in a year than all their employees will over their whole lifetimes.

    But yeah, I hadn't realized the booth clerks were solidly middle class. It will make me less sympathetic the next time one of them snarls at me when I ask for directions. Of course, that doesn't mean their benefits should be cut. It just means they need to earn that cushy bourgeois lifestyle.

  • At 9:08 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    I didn't realize you were talking about Harper's. I thought you were talking about the consulting firm.

  • At 9:17 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Nah, I don't consort with those people.

    Anyhow, yeah, a transit strike seems too extreme for what's at stake. But MTA management are the real crooks.

  • At 12:00 AM, Blogger hank said…


  • At 1:43 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Ha, who, the MTA managament? I totally agree!

  • At 1:47 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Btw, Hank, someone just pointed out to me that the old union boss Mike Quill said it best back in 1980. He was asked "There are folks with better educations making less than some of your members. What do you say to that!" And Mike answered with something like: "I say it's time for those folks to get a raise, and I'd honor their picket line should they strike to do so."


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