The illegal transit workers strike in New York promises to have a terrible impact on the lives of New Yorkers, many of those adversely affected being far less well-off than the strikers.

That it comes at Christmas, a time when merchants large and small make the lion’s share of their profits, makes the strikers particularly hateful.

The strike has also exposed faults in the city’s leadership. As Nicole Gelinas points out, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin isn’t the only mayor who’s left unused buses sitting idle:
“New York has plenty of licensed school bus drivers, tour-bus drivers, regional commuterbus drivers, and more. Might not some or most of them want a few hundred dollars in extra pay during the week before Christmas for working some city shifts? Double-decker tour buses, to take one easy example, look to be traversing Manhattan half-empty this week due to the strike.The mayor could quietly speak with the managers of the companies that own those buses to see about borrowing some drivers for the duration of the strike. The city and state could pay qualified drivers twice the going daily rate on a temporary basis just to get some buses up and running quickly. Since violence is a risk in breaking any strike, the mayor should equip each bus with a pair of NYPD officers.”