From (David P.)@21:1/5 to All on Mon Oct 25 13:29:34 2021
QUORA: Why doesn’t capitalism seem to be working by
raising the wages of truck drivers enough to relieve
the shortage of available drivers?
by Aaron Brown, Oct 8, 2021
There is a specific and a general answer.
The professional truck driver shortage began at least a
year before the pandemic, & has even older roots. Truck
driving is simply not an attractive profession for younger
workers. The average entrant, prior to CoVID, was 35 yrs
old (& remember than means many were older), & was usually
the result of layoff or other problems in other jobs.
The job demands for long-distance truck drivers make it
difficult to start or maintain a family—esp. a modern
2-career one. It can be satisfying for some people with
grown children, esp. if divorced or not close with their
Another issue is the future. Self-driving trucks seem
likely to dominate in the near future, so who wants to do
all the training for jobs that may not exist in 5-10 yrs?
To address this, capitalism's working fine. Before raising
wages, it's vacuuming up workers left behind by other
industries. It’s also investing in automation &
The more general answer is labor markets have lots of
frictions. The biggest one is that in recessions employers
lay off workers rather than cut wages. Cutting wages can
mean the best workers leave, & some of the rest are
resentful & less productive—they can even resort to sabotage.
Some of the frictions are cultural—jobs have always meant
more than an arms-length exchange of money for work. Many
of them are legal and regulatory.
Frank Loncar, Thursday
One of the big issues is that in 2019 electronic logs were
fully enforced, many owner operators had predicted they
couldn't turn a profit without cheating on their driving
time. Compound that with requirements for cleaner running
trucks that seem to be less reliable & more expensive, the
smart drivers found other employment. The trucking companies
have placed all the financial risk on the drivers, thus the
result is an industry in a tailspin in quantity & quality.
Bruce Rosner, Saturday
Supply doesn't necessary respond quickly to demand.
It's called the business cycle.