Several folks have questioned my argument claiming that the state of the trucking industry is evidence of a broken market, a monopsony as economists call it. In effect, I suggested that the market is so in control of the trucking companies that they have been able to keep wages low in spite of a critical shortage of drivers. The result is not a market where employers and potential employees can bargain fairly, suggesting that the government needs to intervene with regulations like a higher minimum wage.

Just today I saw an article in Business Insider regarding the trucking shortage. I would strongly suggest that anyone who disputes this point look at this article. In an effort to avoid having to pay higher wages to drivers, the trucking industry is lobbying to allow teenagers to drive 80,000 rigs on the interstates.

As the article points out, however, there is an easy way to solve the driver shortage: pay drivers more. Driver salaries are as much as 50% lower than they were in the 1970s, a Business Insider analysis found in August. So, as Rachel Premack pointed out in the article, this is an example of a failing market in which there are willing sellers of labor, but the buyers, the trucking companies, still refuse to raise wages.

Hope this information helps clarify some of the issues many of you have raised. Thanks for the thoughtful comments, though.

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Mike is an Assistant Professor of Management for Legal and Ethical Studies at Oakland U. Mike combines his scholarship with practical experience in politics.

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