Now that we’re a bit farther into the new HOS rules than we are with the healthcare takeover, it’s becoming readily apparent to anybody with cognitive function that big government is just as incapable of managing a driver’s work day as it is of taking over one-sixth of the private sector economy. Some things just can’t be done with central planning.
It’s about time that we admit to the fact that bigger isn’t better, especially when it comes to micro-management by the federal government.
The contemporary bureaucratic mindset, regardless of which political party is in power, has blown two space shuttle crews out of the sky, slept through two attacks on the World Trade Center, botched the past two decades of foreign policy, and made no effort to prevent an ambassador’s assassination.
With a track record like that on big picture items that the federal government is supposed to manage, why would anybody believe that the same mentality, people, and systems could be capable of managing the smallest details of daily life for each and every one of us?
Yet here we are, with the best healthcare system in the world being destroyed before our eyes, and with now concrete proof that an HOS scheme developed by the so-called best and brightest of bureaucrats is also a costly failure.
ATRI analysis of Government’s HOS rules
The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) recently released its latest analysis of the impacts resulting from the HOS rules that went into effect earlier this year. According to ATRI, more than 80 percent of carriers have experienced a productivity loss since the new rules went into effect, with nearly half stating that they require more drivers to haul the same amount of freight.
The analysis also indicates that 67% of drivers reported decreases in pay since the rules took effect. Spread across the entire pool of over-the-road drivers, the total impact on driver pay amounts to a loss of $1.6 billion to $3.9 billion per year.
It’s important to remember, as we survey the damaging effects of the new HOS rules, that the entire reason for amending the rules in the first place was to address commercial driver fatigue, which accounts for just a few percentage points of total highway fatalities.
If this sounds at all familiar, consider that we’re currently destroying the healthcare system to address the roughly 3% of Americans who genuinely can’t afford health insurance and don’t qualify for Medicaid.
It almost seems as if these programs were more about penalizing certain groups than they are about producing a net positive result, doesn’t it?