There are so many things wrong with Conor Sen’s lament at Bloomberg View about there not being enough truckers that I hardly know where to begin. Rather than fisking it in detail I’ll just hit a few of the high points.
- His own graph show that there are more truckers in the U. S. today than at any time in our recent history.
- One of the provisions of NAFTA allows Mexican truckers to haul freight from Mexico into the United States. The more freight is brought in from Mexico, the more Mexican truckers are hauling freight. Those truckers don’t count into U. S. trucker employment.
- It’s too bad there’s no way of hauling freight in the United States other than by truck.
- Any shortage of truckers is due to a rules change that went into effect in 2013, coincidentally just about the time that the number of truckers stopped growing.
- What’s trucker pay as a proportion of shipping costs?
- It’s too bad that it’s impossible to manufacture consumer goods or grow food closer to the places where people live rather than shipping them from ports to where people live.
- As I pointed out yesterday maybe if we weren’t subsidizing Chinese imports there would be less need for long haul trucking.
and that’s just off the top of my head.
Bottom line: I don’t believe that it would be a national tragedy if truckers were paid more and, if Mr. Sen believes it, he certainly hasn’t made a case for it.