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    Biden Administration Proposes Roosevelt Style Interventions Keep Trucking Industry Afloat

    Dagblog is a progressive blog, so it's a bit easy to forget that it's a bit more on the conservative Democrat end of the spectrum. I sent some stuff to a progressive publisher that I knew would win with folks here but they didn't like it. Here it is for you guys, especially artappraiser, I know you will like it.

    If you know anyone willing to publish work like this, please let me know.

    Economic Policy

    Biden Administration Proposes Roosevelt Style Interventions Keep Trucking Industry Afloat

    By Michael Deschamps

    Submitted January 24, 2022

    Policy Summary:

    The Biden administration successfully passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill November 15 of last year, and included within that pill was a federal apprenticeship program, presented as part of the Biden-Harris Trucking Action Plan, that would enlist young people to replace an aging and retiring truck driving work force. Prospective truck drivers, as young as 18 years old, would be accompanied by an experienced truck driver in the passenger seat during a 400 hour probationary period of training. The Biden administration has boasted of already acquiring cooperation by multiple partners to cut bureaucracy in order to expedite the distribution of Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs). The Biden administration plans to spur the expedition of CDLs by distributing $30 million to states by way of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This increase in funding will streamline CDL processing and reduce testing delays.

    The proposed Biden administration apprenticeship program harkens back to the Work Progress Administration and other New Deal programs that enlisted out of work young people for jobs that were critical for keeping the country connected and functional.

    Policy Analysis:

    72% of goods in America are shipped by truck. This makes truck drivers “essential workers,” critical for the supply chain to remain functional. However, the trucking industry is beset by challenges: the Biden administration has cited in their proposal high turnover rates, long hours away from home, and unpaid time

    spent loading and unloading, something the Biden administration says it will alleviate through oversight by the FMCSA and Department of Labor (DOL). Deeming time spent waiting without pay "unpaid detention time," the Biden administration has pledged to "study" the issue but has not made specifics about how it will alleviate the problem.

    The Biden administration additionally cites that drivers only spend an average of 6.5 hours per working day driving despite being allowed to drive for a maximum of 11 hours. Further, according to the Biden administration, due to this misuse of time, 40 percent of carrying capacity is not being used and truckers are often expected to bear the burden of gas, insurance, and maintenance costs.

    Only 11 percent of truck drivers are employed independently. This means that the majority of instances cited by the Biden administration, if a widespread problem, in which drivers had to pay for various costs involved direct employees of trucking companies. While the Biden administration has so far just pledged to "study" the issue, direct regulation of the trucking industry would likely have to be involved in any effort to alleviate that issue. This could play out a lot like efforts by Uber drivers to be treated as full time employees.

    The Biden administration already boasts of partnerships with EVO Trucking, D.M. Bowman, Yellow Corporation, Florida Rock and Tank, Transportation, CRST, the Trucking Alliance and the American Trucking Associations. The administration says that all of those partners have agreed to "launch, expand, and work" on a Registered Apprenticeship program. Nick Geale, the vice president at American Trucking Associations, indicated that he felt as if his industry was in crisis, saying that “we are very concerned about our ability to continue to deliver to the entire country.”

    The administration’s proposed program “Registered Apprenticeships”  will be operated by the Departments of Transportation and Labor. The Biden administration  cites that 50,000 CDLs were issued in 2021, indicating a growing demand that the administration’s proposed program would build upon, while

    also citing New York reducing test delays by 27% in the same year as evidence that their policy would work. Last year, New York passed its Young Adult CDL program. 

    The Biden proposal focuses on reducing bureaucracy and expediting the process for licensing that the economy depends on. The Biden administration cites that 10,000 apprenticeships are already occurring in the trucking industry and calls for a “90-day Challenge to accelerate the expansion of Registered Apprenticeships.” The Biden administration promises that it would release CDLs “in as little as 48 hours,” alleviating chronic delays in the release of CDLs which were brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

    These Biden proposals  reflect  the New Deal efforts of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose Work Progress Administration ensured that all who were willing to work were provided the opportunity to do so. Set up in 1935, 8.5 million people were successfully put to work by the WPA.

    According to a study posted on the career website Zippia, the overwhelming majority - 80% - of commercial truck drivers are male. Milken Institute Review, which dubs non-working men to be “an economic time bomb,” reported in a study that the male work force is, as of 2021, only 67%, indicating that a full third of men are somehow subsisting without work. If successful, an intervention to ensure a new supply of drivers in the trucking industry could reduce that number and put unemployed men back to work.

    About 1.5 million men between 20 and 24 are not in school, in jobs or in formal training programs, according to a Covid-19 era Pew research poll. Jared Bernstein, Chief Economist and Economic Policy Adviser to the Vice President of the United States, credits so many permanently out of work with the “YOYO

    (you’re on your own) economy.”

    Engagement Resources:

    Click or tap on resource URL to visit links where available

    White House Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Trucking Action Plan - Info sheet on President Joe Biden’s effort to strengthen America’s truck force.

    Press Release: ATA Reacts to Biden-Harris Administration’s Trucking Action Plan: American Trucking Associations, which is participating in the program, releases an official response to the Biden-Harris Administration Trucking Action Plan.

    Milken Institute Review: The Male Non-Working Class: Milken Institute Review explores in depth the modern phenomenon of chronically out of work men.


    Did they hint at what they didn't like?

    I will be blunt and say the editor seemed old, suspicious and miserable. Also, I think he didn't want to touch the subject of out of work men. I think it's a bit obvious that this policy is aimed at enlisting out of work men, though. The language in both the press release and the New York Times article even seems to suggest it.

    Previous generations generally only saw so many "great men" because society and the government forced them to work critical jobs. An information dependent economy prefers women or effiminate men as they seem less threatening and that situation sort of reinforces itself because out of work men end up in situations where they have to seem threatening to survive.

    As far as publishing it, the problem is that the "article" you pasted reads as a messy mishmosh rehash of what press releases said. (Kind of like when in 6th grade when the teacher would have you write for the P.R. office of a state and then you'd get it in the mail and read it and write a "paper" on what you read.)

    The White House Fact Sheet, for example, is far clearer and easier to read. 

    Why would anyone want to publish it if the White House Fact Sheet/press release is right there, available free of charge? 


    Simply adding the reference to Roosevelt maybe makes the policy more palatable to socialist types I guess. But the comparison is not that accurate and anyone sophisticated would not buy it.

    Policy-wise I see nothing wrong with it, they are trying to clean up issues that I have seen truckers quit over or complain about (in far better written articles) to make the job/career more palatable to more people. But right now the trend overall as far as "essential worker" type jobs is "take this job and shove it", not a desperate unemployment situation like the Great Depression. That may be temporary because of Covid but it will take time for people to care about working again.

    I am reminded by the topic that because of Brexit, the trucking industry across the pond has a lot more problems to deal with than they do in the U.S.:


    I really appreciate this feedback. I didn't really understand what was wrong with what I wrote but I really do see your perspective here. I did wonder if it was too much like the Biden press release. Nevertheless this post got over 1000 views, when posted here, so ....

    Yeah, it was hard to know what to say about a policy that hasn't actually been implemented. It seems like the Roosevelt policy but who knows if it would be like it?

    currently in Canada I see this is going on #TruckersForFreedom2022

    one of quite a few tweets for an example of how the libertarian trucker ethos is still playing up there

    and this one's quite something:

    It's worth saying that a whole lot of sports websites have "news stories" up that are little more than a regurgitation of whatever Jim Cornett or Joe Rogan said in a podcast, followed by a link to the podcast. So milking a press release doesn't seem like a huge deal. That's just me though.

    Trump failed China trade war

    argues that trucking jobs are actually dystopian nightmares-

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