Absurd Government Regulation Making Life Harder

The other day I wrote a post about a study by two economists which indicated that America is 72% poorer than we could have been thanks to overzealous government regulation. If that was a bit too esoteric, here’s a real world example of how government layering on regulation after regulation is making us poorer.

A reader sent this in about his local “Schwan Man” (for the uninitiated, Schwan’s is an excellent food home delivery service):

Was just visiting with our local Schwan Man who was telling us about the new DOT 30 minute break rule. He said as of yesterday, for every eight hours he is in the Schwan truck working, he has to take a 30 minute break somewhere between 3:30 pm and 4:30 pm. Yesterday, he was in a real rural area and had to park the truck on the side of the road for 30 minutes as his 8 hours was up. A farmer came along and asked if could buy some goodies which would have been a 50 dollar sale but he couldn’t even sell anything cause that would show up on his hand held computer device he has from Schwans which also serves as a drivers log and had to tell the farmer “Sorry, can’t sell nothing for 30 minutes”. Violations of this new rule could result in termination he said. He also said Schwans has tried to fight this but to no avail. He also saw other commercial trucks sitting on the side of the road today too.

So because of this, he said he will be losing money as he works entirely on commission. He also said it will really screw up his already tight schedule to make stops at customers homes. Just unreal but then it is the government.

I checked, and indeed these new rules do exist. It seems they’re not technically in effect yet – they kick in at the end of the month according to this posting at the DOT – but it wouldn’t be surprising that a large company like Schwan’s would want to implement them ahead of the curve to ensure compliance.

But the end result is going to be less efficiency for commercial drivers, less efficiency for customers and more expense for both. Put simply, it’s just another way the government is making our lives a little harder, and a little more expensive to accomplish a safety objective they probably won’t accomplish.

Your tax dollars, hard at work.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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