TRUCKERS' DRASTIC FALL * USA: by Paul Krugman
* New York - Trucking and blue-collar woes: From Reagan to Trump
--- What with everything else going on, this Trip Gabriel essay on truckers hasn’t gotten as much attention as it should. But it’s awesome — and says a lot about what is and isn’t behind the decline of blue-collar wages... Trucking used to be a well-paying occupation. Here are wages of transportation and warehousing workers in today’s dollars, which have fallen by a third since the early 1970s:
... Unfortunately the occupational categories covered by the BLS have changed a bit, and using the data at unionstats we can see that a drastic fall in trucker unionization took place during the 1980s: 38 percent of “heavy truck” drivers covered by unions in 1983, already down to 25 percent by 1991. It’s not quite comparable, but only 13 percent of “drivers/sales workers and truck drivers” were covered last year... In short, this looks very much like a non tradable industry where workers used to have a lot of bargaining power through collective action, and lost it in the great union-busting that took place under Reagan and after... And the great majority of the people whose chance at a middle-class life was destroyed by those political changes probably voted for Trump. Oh well...
NY, USA - The NYT, by Paul Krugman - May 23, 2017