Workplace Surveillance and Toy Shortages

Published on
October 4th, 2018
27 minutes

Workplace Surveillance and Toy Shortages

The Knock-On Effect ·
Featuring Alex Rosenberg, Justine Underhill, Roger Hirst

Published on: October 4th, 2018 • Duration: 27 minutes

Why does increased workplace surveillance mean there could be a shortage of the hot new Christmas toy? Justine, Roger and Alex discuss why recent mandates in the trucking business will have far-reaching implications for U.S. retailers. Filmed on October 1, 2018.


  • GF
    Gordon F.
    6 October 2018 @ 01:24
    Last week I drove on I-40 from Albuquerque NM to Kingman AZ, and according to my count there are on the general order of 500 semi-tractor trucks (18-wheelers) going by any given point every hour. This doesn't count the smaller panel trucks, buses, etc. These were daytime hours, but morning, afternoon, or evening, it was about the same. Clearly, I-40 is one of the principal east-west transportation corridors, but 500 trucks per hour seems to me to be a LOT. In addition, there are double train tracks that generally follow the course of I-40, and there appeared to be at least one long train - 100 cars plus or minus - every hour, both ways. In my rental car I had to get out and stretch every couple of hours or so. Even with custom seats I have a hard time imagining that I could ever work as a truck driver. To each his own, I guess.
  • RT
    Robert T.
    4 October 2018 @ 19:25
    Isn't the ELD mandate a huge reason for the push to autonomous trucks? Seems that everyone is safer and it's much easier than driving in traffic. It's pretty easy to push an 18 wheeler across fly-over country. Not so good for jobs for truckers, though
    • PW
      Paul W.
      5 October 2018 @ 05:14
      I think the bigger driver in autonomous vehicles is simply about replacing labor with capital to increase profitability. As an example, Uber probably cannot achieve reasonable profitability until they get rid of the drivers and to do so is clearly part of their plan. Right now, trucking involves fuel, capital investment in the truck itself and the driver. As long as the cost of capital to automate the truck is less than the cost of a human driver, the trend will continue to progress. The only thing that will divert it will be if labor becomes cheap and capital becomes expensive.
  • PW
    Paul W.
    5 October 2018 @ 05:08
    While I generally enjoy these videos, this one seemed like one of the weaker efforts. However, there were some interesting nuggets such as the reminder of how the original regulations were based almost entirely on creating inflation. I already know the answer but as a rhetorical question, why are we so afraid of deflation? Absent government intervention, it would be a normal part of an economic cycle and probably heal the systems much faster than our interventions and with far fewer side effects. The second point which is absolutely well-taken is that to the extent we have been shielded from the real costs of shipping, our purchasing decisions have likely been distorted by the belief that shippings costs are immaterial now and will continue to be immaterial in the future. I think we are in for a rude awakening...
  • PC
    Philip C.
    4 October 2018 @ 14:37
    When it comes to the quality of food, the customer gets what the customer wants. Truck stops serve greasy hamburgers because there is a market for it. In France, the 'relais routiers' serve quality food at an attractive price and the truckers have them marked on their maps and go out of their way to eat there. The difference is that the French take food much more seriously.
    • YB
      Yuriy B.
      5 October 2018 @ 02:16
      Agree. American food is an abomination. Worst in the world unequivocally, both in terms of taste and health hazard.
  • RT
    Robert T.
    4 October 2018 @ 19:20
    Wasn't the airline industry an fine example of destructive deregulation?
  • RT
    Robert T.
    4 October 2018 @ 19:18
    Duel, Spielberg's 1st film was about trucking...
  • AK
    Arthur K.
    4 October 2018 @ 19:06
    Smokey and the Bandit
  • lD
    lance D.
    4 October 2018 @ 16:34
    Hgv drivers here have improved the way they eat.... i know a few young drivers that are all about clean eating and fitness, actually do stop and do 'hit' training in a suitable spot on there route....... so maybe the diners may see it not as a positive as they think . I must say my sample of clean eating drivers is small but it is there! However the last driver that i saw today was HUGE and I doubt he was gonna 'munch' on an avocado for dinner. good episode i like it .