Well a new year is dawning and the economy is still struggling and the trucking industry is struggling along with it. As I write this, the holiday season is still a few weeks away and forecasts range from a 1 percent decline to a 1 percent increase in holiday spending. Either way the season is going to be fairly slow and along with it freight will be slow.
They keep talking about recovery, but personally I’m not hearing the words I need to hear to indicate that recovery is really on the way. What are those magic words? Actually it’s just one word: jobs. We need to start hearing about factories opening up again, about workers returning to work. If we’re not putting people back to work then the rest of this is just smoke and mirrors and that’s what got us here to start with.
I normally try to stay away from politics in my columns as it can be such a divisive topic, but I don’t think this is an issue that many will disagree on and it’s one that we can all do something about. Politicians are, for the most part, bought and paid for by the lobbyists and special interest groups who contribute millions of dollars every year to their campaign funds and then expect a return on their investment. But those politicians still need to win an election, and while pouring those millions into advertising can get them a lot of votes, they also need the votes of those who care more about voting records than rhetoric.
So here’s my proposal, let’s start a “WHERE’S THE JOBS” campaign. We don’t need a fancy organization or any funding for this campaign. It’s just a basic neighbor to neighbor campaign to spread the word and to take the right kind of action to insure that you are going to get the desired results.
E-mail is a great way to communicate these days, but the impact of email hasn’t arrived in Washington yet. Washington is still stuck in the 20th century and it’s phone calls and letters from their constituents that has the most impact on politicians. So here’s my get-our-jobs-back strategy. First take a few seconds to call your congressman and senator and ask him the critical question — “Where’s the jobs?” Have your wife or significant other call, have your friends call, put the number in your speed dial and dial it for them and then hand them the phone. Flood the switchboard in Washington with people asking our government who’s got billions for Wall Street where the jobs are for Main Street.
The second prong to this attack is to send a post card. We don’t need long letters, we just have one question so a postcard will do and let’s send them where they’ll do the most good: to the guy at the top. Just put our simple phrase on the card, “Where’s the jobs?” Put your return address on it and address it to the The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC. 20500. Will this work? Of course it will work IF everyone does it. If you take the time to talk to just two other people and have them send a card and then go out and talk to two other people. You can even help them, buy 3 cards and put stamps on them. Write “Where’s the jobs” on the back and then hand it to a friend and have him put his return address on it. Now ask him to do the same and mail the card for him.
This is a grass roots as it comes — no organization, no fund raising, just people talking to other people and spreading the word.
I guarantee you that if the White House gets a hundred million post cards asking “Where’s the jobs,” you’ll start seeing some factories open up and some freight start flowing again. We have got to get our factories back, from all the off shore places they’ve sent them. If we don’t put the middle class back to work, there is no economy and there’s no freight for us to move. So act like your future depends on this and get out there and spread the word and let’s get America back to work and the freight back on the trucks.
Till next time, be safe.
John Ewing is a former owner-operator and the author of The Truckers Helper, business management software for truckers. If you'd like to ask questions or make comments on this article please visit the forums at www.thetruckershelper.com. He will be happy to answer any questions on trucking or managing your trucking business.