I want to speak to you about the reason store shelves are emptying and why parts of the United States are dealing with scarcities of all kinds. Some of it has to do with the prolonged shutdown of our economy that literally broke the links in our supply chains.
Much of it has to do with the trucking industry that has been ignored, slighted, taken for granted and over regulated, to the point there are not enough trucks and truckers to offload hundreds of cargo ships waiting offshore of our ports throughout the nation.
The supply chain breakage was exaggerated by way of a triple whammy of the COVID-19 lockdown as it affected truckers. Deliveries were eliminated to stores and facilities that were closed.
The truckers had a hard time finding eateries and bathrooms on the road. And too many truckers ended up getting paid more for staying home with their families rather than going to work.
Speaking in terms of California’s adversarial and tumultuous relationship with the trucking industry, consider the following.
California promulgated a diesel engine rule that took out of service some $20 billion of diesel equipment, including trucks, farm and construction equipment, by way of air quality rule that was steeped in academic and regulatory corruption. The rule required multiple replacements and modifications of engines that were too expensive for most owner operators, and mom-and-pop companies, to comply with. Most of this equipment has never been replaced.
Then there is AB5, currently tied up in the courts, as it affects the trucking industry. AB5 would serve to eliminate owner-operators and contract drivers from operating in California. On top of that, Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared no diesel trucks will be allowed to be sold or operated in this state within the next two decades. And, let us not forget, both Gov. Newsom and President Joe Biden are waging a war against the oil industry, which is driving up fuel prices across the board.
Speaking of this war against truckers, this past week ExxonMobil was before the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission requesting that it be allowed to truck its oil until the pipeline they use is finally repaired or replaced.
The county wasted years analyzing and hyperventilating about the dangers, once or twice a century no less, about the potential for an oil spill, should the trucking operation be approved. Yet, each and every day, America relies on the trucking industry to use our local streets, highways and freeways to deliver each and every item we rely on daily.
The problem here is that people, including decision makers and activists, no longer know where things come from, how they are made and what it takes to satisfy consumer demands. They disdain the blue collar workers in our midst, as they try to eliminate their jobs for perceived environmental ills, including those having to do with farming, manufacturing, industry and transportation.
I consider it both a blessing and a curse to have been brought up by parents who were part of the greatest generation.
The blessing has to do with what made this country great. People were rewarded by way of taking risks. They lived sacrificially for their families and their country. Entrepreneurial spirits were honored for their contributions to society and economy. And most people got to keep what they earned, purchased, and inherited.
The curse? Watching all of the above getting frittered away by a generation of smug, self-satisfied, delusional narcissists who take everything they received for granted while they systematically dismantle and disown our heritage, liberty and economy.
Andy Caldwell is the COLAB executive director and host of “The Andy Caldwell Show,” airing 3 to 5 p.m. weekdays on KZSB AM 1290, the News-Press radio station.