We can thank the Manhattan Institute for a voice of reason in today’s illegal strike of New York City’s transit union. Here is Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal writing in some other publication last week at the first threat of a strike:

THE Transport Workers Union, representing the city’s nearly 34,000 subway and bus workers, is threatening to call a strike this Friday if the Metropolitan Transportation Authority doesn’t sign a contract to its liking. Such a strike would be illegal: public employees in New York State are forbidden from walking out on the job.

And not only would a strike be illegal, it would be unjustified. The authority is a generous employer by any standard. Its employees take home bigger paychecks and more lavish benefits than most of the city’s private employees. The authority is not looking to drastically slash those salaries and benefits. It is merely proposing to increase worker productivity and to cut back modestly on its own pension and health-benefit obligations. . . .

If the Transport Workers Union goes on strike this week, many New Yorkers will have ample opportunity to reflect as they walk to work or sit in traffic. They should think about which side - the authority or the union - has acted unreasonably.

Read the entire article here--it may even change a few hardened New York liberal minds as to their solidarity with tough talking Roger Toussaint, president of Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union. During this most important week of New York’s retail season, Toussaint has trampled the livelihoods of all of the city’s labor force, most of them far worse off than his pampered TWU, for the benefit of the few.

Today, Henry J. Stern, former parks commissioner and current Manhattan Institute haunt, has more on how to “Put the City in the Driver’s Seat.”

Also, in today’s The New York Sun, Gelinas makes the suggestion to “privatize the buses.”

Finally, here is a special treat for today’s cold New York commuters:

The audio of Ronald Reagan’s August 3, 1981 speech declaring his intentions to release any and all of the 13,000 striking air traffic controllers who did not return to work within forty-eight hours. Two days later, Reagan fired the 11,359 air-traffic controllers who had not acted on his promise.

Remember that, Toussant?