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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press The Story of How Trucking Jobs Became Low-Paying Jobs

The Story of How Trucking Jobs Became Low-Paying Jobs

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Friday, 02 May 2014 15:16

Very good piece in the Washington Post on how the trucking industry contracted out to push down wages in trucking. Now many independent truckers don't earn much more than workers in fast-food restaurants.

Comments (5)Add Comment
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written by watermelonpunch, May 02, 2014 5:03
The "independent contractors" problem seems to be epidemic in a wide variety of industries & professions.
They call it self-employment, but it's not.
..., Low-rated comment [Show]
These are capital owners
written by Dave, May 02, 2014 5:38
There are a lot of issues here. The first that stuck out to me was that this person is a capital owner. When we look at capital/labor, there needs to be a distinction between capital that owns a business and capital that is employed by a business. This is something completely different than in previous times.

But to attack a different issue, the problem of employee/contractors is vastly different over the different professions. Here is a clear case of exploitation by employers. Many are like this, but there are other professions where this doesn't fit, such as IT. In that case, these laws were turned on their head to benefit the companies again.

These days, it doesn't seem to matter what the law is. Powerful people win every time, either way, regardless of the law.
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written by urban legend, May 03, 2014 2:25
If the so-called independents are making less than employees -- and it looks like it is a whole lot less when benefits are considered -- there almost has to be collusion among the companies to keep contract rates low. Does the Justice Department or state attorneys general even bother to look at monopsony these days, of has the University of Chicago mythology achieved total intellectual dominance?
The 'middle class' is next
written by John Yard, May 03, 2014 9:36
I worked in a grocery warehouse with truckers in the 1970's. The work was brutal - only young men could do it - but you could make a living wage for your family. Today that same work , adjusted for inflation, makes about 2/3rds of what I made in 1978.
All these tactics - 'independent contracting' - are coming to lower tier middle class jobs such as teaching. They are next. Most of these middle professionals applauded the working class downsizing in the 80's and 90's. That's a good reason why they will fail to preserve their status: no solidarity equally no future.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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