Krugman on Truckers

In his May 23 blog entry Paul Krugman comments on the woes of truckers, at one time well paid middle level workers in America. Average incomes (adjusted for inflation) for truckers have fallen from about $32 an hour in 1975 to $21/hour in 1995 and have been stagnant since, (That’s less than $40,00/year.)

Krugman notes that many of the usual explanatioins for reduced worker pay, such as increased automation, do not apply here. He argues that the decline of unionization  since the time of Reagan is the reason.

I’ve noted that denunciation of unions is the most common mantra of so-called conservatives, along with praise of low taxes for the rich. What bothers me is that unions seem to be losing favor with traditional Democratic supporters under the barrage of conservative propaganda. I didn’t see NJ Dems coming to the aid of the teacher unions underincessant criticism by Gov. Christie. And then we had the sorry spectacle of Democratic leaders sucking up to Christie in his re-election campaign. It makes me question the window label on the back of my car – “Proud Democrat.”

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