“Federal fee hike putting thousands of freight brokers out of business, industry says”
Well boo hoo for them, amiright? I mean, it’s time these redneck-trucking enablers started worrying about a planet in the death throws of global weathering (heating, cooling, staying the same — all are signs of the need for politicians from around the globe to come together and work out a wealth redistribution scheme). And if that means they have to pony up more money to broker freight — in a move that helps the mega freight brokers and gets rid of these pesky small businesses who compete with them — well, that’s a net notch in the bedpost of the progressive’s score card of Greater Goods:
Americans fork over $1.75 trillion each year to comply with federal regulations, according to estimates from the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy.
Thousands of independent freight brokers and agents nationwide will tell you the immediate cost is deadly.
A new provision in the federal transportation bill jacks up the surety bonds that freight brokers and forwarders must pay from $10,000 to $75,000.
Since its rollout last fall, the provision – which critics allege was slipped into the massive transportation bill and greased by the massive contributions of interests representing the mega freight brokers – has forced more than 7,500 active property brokers to shut down as of March 14, according to the Association of Independent Property Brokers and Agents.
The association claims there were 21,565 brokers on Oct. 1. Nearly six months later, the industry has shed about 36 percent of its players, a loss that will hit consumers and the U.S. economy in the pocketbook, according to the association.
James Lamb, president of the Boca Raton, Fla.-based group, says the steep increases in bond costs to ensure freight delivery is just too much for a lot of small businesses to bear.
“A lot of these folks narrowly survived the Great Recession,” he told Watchdog.org. “These are people who were struggling to begin with. This was the last thing these folks needed.”
By late December, Lamb said, some 2,500 smaller freight brokers in California, Illinois and Texas alone had closed shop.
The heftier bond rates are included in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, commonly known as MAP-21, signed into law in July 2012 by President Obama. The transportation bill, the first long-term highway authorization enacted by Congress since 2005, included more than $105 billion for surface transportation programs in fiscal years 2013 and 2014.
As logistics trade publication DC Velocity put it, under the MAP-21 provision “the federal government makes it more expensive for brokers to do business, enforces strict rules on what brokers and truckers can and can’t do, and levies stiff fines for noncompliance.”
The broker bond provision was backed by major freight-hauling players such as the American Trucking Associations, the Transportation Intermediaries Association and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
Higher bonds will cut down on the incidents of fraud, the associations insist.
Lamb acknowledges fraud within the industry but vehemently disputes the accusation that it is widespread. He said there were no studies tracking incident rates brought before Congress before the bond provision was tucked into the 1,656-page transportation bill. Lamb’s association claims the trade groups serving the biggest brokers, including multi-billion dollar companies, “hooked up with small truckers and their trade group to cut a deal.”
“Our position to the trucker community is this is cutting off your nose to spite your face,” Lamb said. “Who’s going to be left? There will be fewer brokers left, and truckers will be desperate to get business from the big brokers, which will charge more and pay truckers less.”
The Association of Independent Property Brokers and Agents has filed a lawsuit in federal district court hoping to block the provision.
“AIPBA believes a number of big brokers have colluded to influence Congress to raise the bond for the sole purpose of limiting competition under the guise of fighting fraud and that this constitutes a violation of Antitrust Law,” the association states on its website.
One association member who says she has been in the transportation industry for more than 30 years asserts the government has “declared war on small businesses in almost every industry.”
Of course it has, and it will use environmental health, safety, or fighting insidious hidden crimes to push for the destruction of small business, after which the goal is liberal fascism, with a big government / big business alliance that works to end competition, and create a new two-tiered “class” system. The small business, independent merchant class — the vulgar bourgeois who are living far too much like their betters in the ruling aristocracy or big business penthouses — must be eliminated, and a with that, a system of rulers and subjects, who become increasingly dependent on the rulers for subsistence, emerges.
I’ve written before that socialism / communism always seems to find liberal fascism as its stopping point. The workers paradise needs to have some pigs more equal than others, because all pigs must be kept in line — something that can’t happen unless the more equal pigs assume the righteous role of lording over the masses. Benevolently, of course. And for their own good.
Everything the progressives do — and that the GOP establishment, with its ties to corporatists and crony capitalism allow to slip through — is an attempt to create a social welfare state and a permanent ruling hierarchy.
Again, it’s time to end this intentional “fundamental transformation” of our free-market capitalist, federalist republic into a National Government whose goal it is to create the logistical inevitability of its own power, once people are forced by a lack of jobs to vote in “their best economic interests.” Which means, in many cases, to go on the dole and let the Nannystate own them from cradle to grave.
That’s indentured servitude, if not slavery, and it is revolting to the spirit of the protestant work ethic and the entrepreneurial spirit that built this country in the world’s most prosperous and free hyperpower.
Such standing is unpalatable to the leftist, who pretends to champion the little guy but who is more concerned in creating a system of radical egalitarianism, wherein “income inequality” is addressed to the point where all workers are “equal” in their worth — with the exception, of course, of the heads of major corporations and the political machinery in league with them. Because let’s face it: running the world is a tough job. And so those who do it deserve to live better than the teeming, insignificant economic units — the “masses” — they are, through compassion, willing to guide through their miserable lives.
Lie back and think of England, friends. Circa 1775.
(h/t Terry H)