California truckers are well aware that gas prices are over $7.00 a gallon across the state. It’s the highest in the nation and a record high even for California. Truckers spend thousands of dollars a week to keep their rig running, but many say it’s not sustainable. Truckers are living off peanut butter and jelly and dipping into their pension just to pay for gas. It’s a problem that, for now, only affects drivers. Unfortunately, very soon, the rest of the state and even the country will feel the pressure as well. Maybe not at the pump, but at the very items the truck drivers have in their cargo. Rising diesel prices will just exacerbate something else that’s reached record highs: inflation.
Many newer independent truckers took one look at gas prices and figured trucking might not be the career they thought it was. Start-up costs for new truck drivers aren’t cheap, and gas prices may officially make it impossible. There’s already a truck driver shortage. Recent estimates before the gas price surge showed the trucking industry was short of 80,000 drivers. Now that number should go up even higher. With supply and demand, it will be obvious that if it’s harder to find a driver, it will be harder to ship products. Additionally, those drivers will need to charge more to offset the cost of gas. This all means that prices for everything from produce to packages will go up.
Diesel Rises and America could Fall
Inflation is already at the highest it’s been in 40 years. Global supply chains are the slowest they’ve been in decades. International conflicts are diminishing prior reserves of products. This is all circling into a perfect storm that may just turn into a full-scale hurricane with the added weight of gas prices. It’s clear that rising prices mean that low-income communities will likely feel the strain the most.
Ironically, truck drivers and many working-class communities will feel the hit twice. Once at the gas pump and again at the market. Not the stock market, but the actual store. Everything from medical supplies to electronics to daily necessities will all go up. There are talks of another stimulus, but that’s just a bandage on a real problem. In a few days or a week, that money will disappear, and the influx of cash will just increase inflation. We need real answers before it’s too late.