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Reblogged: Who needs teamsters when we have SWAT teams?

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When oil was first discovered in Pennsylvania, it was transported to the nearest rail head by horse. It was poured into liquor barrels, put on a cart and pulled by a team of horses. In 1865, Samuel Van Syckel procured a right of way and built a 5 mile pipeline. He faced a lot of technical challenges. The oil had to be pumped, and the pipeline's joints would need to withstand high pressure. Van Syckel was working with 15 foot sections of 2-inch wrought pipe.

After sabotage by unhappy teamsters, he hired guards to protect the line, and it was successful enough (he charged $1 per barrel) that he built a second line soon after. 

Today, pipeline builders don't just have to get a right of way from farmers. They have to petition the government. And, they do not face desperate teamsters wielding pickaxes in a futile attempt to hold back competition. Instead, the government does the job more effectively. If the people's government, duly elected, says "no", their refusal trumps private property rights. And, it cannot be challenged by a measly force of private guards. Behind the "no" from the voters' representatives is the ultimate power of force. Not just pickaxes: try to defy it and bulldozers will raze your line; resist that and police with guns will haul you away and throw you in jail. 

Who needs teamsters with pickaxes when we have SWAT teams to enforce the people's will. 

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