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Mon Feb 9, 2015, 01:49 PM

West Coast Port Strike; Do What Ronald Reagan Did To The Air Traffic Controllers

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Tim Worstall

There’s something between a go slow and a strike going on at the West Coast ports at the moment. Given that this is where all of the imports and exports to and from Asia come in and out of the US this is something of a problem. Around 40% of US trade actually moves through these ports. And there’s two small groups that have a stranglehold upon the nation. One is the obvious group to blame, the employee’s union. But the other one should also be considered, the employers’ association. What we’ve ended up with is one monopoly dealing with another, the first being the monopolist for the output of the second monopoly, and that’s just not going to lead to an efficient marketplace for anyone. Far from it, it’s going to lead to both groups extracting monopoly rents from the general consumer: to the detriment of that general consumer of course. The solution is simply to break up both monopolies, possibly even using tactics as extreme as Ronald Reagan used on the air traffic controllers all those years ago, and restore something akin to a competitive marketplace. To the benefit of everyone not currently in one of those two monopoly groups.

The basic story is here:

Congestion at West Coast ports, including the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, could cost retailers as much as $7 billion this year.

If the ports shut down entirely for 10 days, it could cost the country $2.1 billion per day. The total two-year impact could be as much as $37 billion.

That’s the findings from management consulting firm Kurt Salmon, which released a report on the issues retailers have faced as a result of the port slowdown that affected the entire West Coast for months.

In more detail from the trade press:

FULL story at link.

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Reply West Coast Port Strike; Do What Ronald Reagan Did To The Air Traffic Controllers (Original post)
Omaha Steve Feb 2015 OP
daleanime Feb 2015 #1
socialist_n_TN Feb 2015 #2

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Feb 9, 2015, 05:27 PM

1. If they are payed so well.....

why is there a strike/slow down going on?

Needless to say Unions have been weakened too much already.

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Response to daleanime (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 11, 2015, 07:21 PM

2. The ILWU has been working without a contract.......

or rather working under the OLD contract since July 1 while a new deal is supposedly negotiated. There hasn't been any progress on the contract talks and, as to the slowdown, they're blaming each other for it.

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