One of the most iconic parts of the interstate landscape is the highway itself, in addition to the culture it has developed. Created under the Eisenhower administration, the Interstate Highway System was supposedly a job development project and an infrastructure project. It remains as one of the most ambitious and expensive infrastructure projects ever. To put its cost into perspective, estimates go up to about a trillion dollars in repairs and maintenance to bring the system up to its original state.
Among other things, the Interstate helped the transport of goods from one end of the United States to the other. It also tolled the end of several towns which it bypassed. This created a shift in demographics, which has not yet undergone adequate studies.
The Old American Trucker
One other cultural shift is that of the trucker. The trucker became an iconic part of US culture only after the Interstate came into being. The trucks were going from one end of the country to another. Truck stops blossomed along the Interstate to provide the requirements of truckers. The truck stops were a haven where truckers could rest, eat, have a shower and interact, although briefly, with other truckers.
The New American Trucker
The cultural landscape of the trucker has changed in recent years. There is a labor shortage for truckers of all kinds, whether long haul, interstate, hazmat as well as local truck driving jobs. As of the past year, there was a need for around 48,000 new truckers. Analysts expect the shortage to further balloon to around 170,000 drivers by 2025. To fill up the slack, more and more immigrants are driving trucks.
Filling Up the Jobs
Time and again, when there is a job nobody wants to do. Immigrants fill up the shortage. When you think about it, there is no shortage of jobs in the country. It just so happens that either the unemployed have not trained for these jobs (such as nurses, and tech people), or Americans don’t want to do the particular jobs in the first place (such as truckers and agricultural workers). For truckers, it is usually the latter.