Pit Stop – The Truckers Strike

In India on January 11, 2009 at 1:54 am

As a general rule, frequent and long running strikes are a symptom of an irrationality in society that cannot be resolved through the moral and legal framework.  The only useful, long term benefit of a strike is if it manages to bring problems to the surface and leads in some way to a permanent solution.

Other than this, a strike does not serve long term interests, even of the strikers.  Gains today have to be paid for tomorrow.  Heavy handed action to prevent or resolve strikes will only serve to make the problem worse.

The heavily unionized American car industry might have learnt this lesson had it not been reconsigned to ignorance by the recent bailout.  In India, a valuable lesson will not be learnt because the National Security Act and the Essential Services Act have been used to end the trucking strike.

The lesson that could have been learnt is that the only way pricing of products can be fair if it is determined by market supply and demand and not by government officials or politicians.  The present system of subsidies only robs Peter to pay Paul and is fair to neither.  Peter is deprived of the enjoyment his money can bring and Paul becomes a parasite.

But now this lesson will not be learnt and such strikes and civil unrest will continue to plague India for times to come.

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