On Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks stated that the federal government intervening to prevent a rail strike will give companies an advantage in negotiations and creates a moral hazard like the bank bailouts in 2008 and will cause people to think “the system is rigged.” Brooks said, “I’m a little — not that I’m singing solidarity for every — every morning, but, basically, the government took away the workers’ right to strike or their ability to strike. And that imbalances the negotiation going — if the railroad companies think, oh, well, the government will step in and take away the ability to strike, then that alters how they’re going to negotiate. And so it alters the balance. So, I worry a little about the — sort of the moral hazard of government stepping in. And, it, somehow, it reminds me, in sort of an inverse case, I thought the bailout of the banks in 2008 was the right thing to do. Nonetheless, it is clear that the moral hazard, the way the government behaved had long-term moral and cultural effects on this country, because people thought, the system is rigged. And if workers decide, if we lose the ability to strike, then the system’s a little rigged against us, and that could lead to some level of cynicism and distrust.” Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett.
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