When Larry Heine was a working man he drove a truck eight hours a day. He saw his family every night, owned his home, sent both his kids to college, and took his wife on vacation to Hawaii whenever he could land some overtime. As a member of the Teamsters, Heine was guaranteed good health care and a pension. He retired at 51, receiving a cake and a $250 gift card to a fishing store on his last day. To today's drivers, his was a good life in a golden age — an age that many say ended on July 1, 1980, when President Jimmy Carter put his name to the Motor Carrier Act of 1980, the law that deregulated the trucking industry. The 1980 MCA broke up that system, allowing anyone to haul any good, to any place, for any price they liked. Experts say that today's big-box and online retailers wouldn't exist if the government had not given up its ability to control freight prices. No Walmart. No Home Depot. No Amazon. And certainly no Amazon Prime.
To read more of the story: How a 1980 Law Slashed Truck Driver Pay, Boosted Big-Box Retail (businessinsider.com)