By now you’re familiar with the chaos at the Port of Los Angeles, where container ships have been backing up for months, causing shortages of consumer goods and increased inflation.
There are multiple causes, including union rules preventing extra shifts or longer hours to get the ships unloaded, a lack of rail capacity for the extra goods, and not enough truckers to haul everything away.
What if I told you the trucker shortage isn’t just what you’ve been told?
What if I told you that in California, the trucker shortage is a self-inflicted wound?
What if I told you the wound was inflicted by Democrats?
You can’t find your shocked face, can you?
Long term, this nation does have a trucker problem. The average age for truckers is 55, and the industry is having a hard time attracting new workers.
Redwood Logistics explains:
The Federal requirement states you must be 21 years old to hold an Interstate Commercial Divers License. This leaves a 3-year post-high school gap, where possible employees become distracted by new employment opportunities.
Over the next 10-15 years, a lot of truckers are going to retire, and there aren’t enough replacements in the pipeline.
Also, trucking is a lifestyle that doesn’t much appeal to women, who represent only 6% of drivers, making it even harder to find replacements.
While those problems are real, they aren’t immediate.
The immediate problem, the one in Los Angeles, has been caused by the state’s vindictively regulatory state government.
We’ll get to the trucker shortage in just a moment, but California also faces a shortage of trucks for them to drive.
Twitter user Jerry Oakley reminds us that “Carriers domiciled in California with trucks older than 2011 model, or using engines manufactured before 2010, will need to meet the Board’s new Truck and Bus Regulation beginning in 2020.” Otherwise, “Their vehicles will be blocked from registration with the state’s DMV,” according to California law.
“The requirement is to purchase electric trucks which do not exist.”
(Hat tip to friend and former VodkaPundit guest-blogger Will Collier.)
As a result, trucks aren’t being purchased to replace the ones being regulated out of business.
But even if there were plenty of trucks in California, there wouldn’t be enough truckers to drive them — and it isn’t because the truckers are too old.
The NEWS says the California port situation is caused by a driver shortage.
Not so fast: It is in part caused by a California Truck Ban which says all trucks must be 2011 or newer and a law called AB 5 which prohibits Owner Operators. pic.twitter.com/yYIsTQsPIe
— Jerry Oakley (@JERRYO1029) October 12, 2021
“Traditionally the ports have been served by Owner Operators,” Oakley says, who are non-union. But under AB-5, “California has now banned Owner Operators.”
Just like the union longshoremen, union truckers work under a whole host of work rules that simply can’t accommodate crisis conditions like the ones in Los Angeles.
In fact, those work rules helped create the crisis conditions.
The exact language of AB-5 was copied and pasted into Presidentish Joe Biden’s $5 trillion (Or: Five Million Million Dollar) “Build Back Better” bill currently stalled in the Senate.
It’s one thing for Californians to screw themselves over, but AB-5 is hurting the entire country’s economy — and Washington Democrats want to take AB-5 nationwide.