Editor’s Note: The following is a guest column written by Jason Tillberg, a Newfield resident and father of two who works at Plum Tree Japanese in Collegetown and writes about economics at seekingalpha.com.

Tillberg’s column is a response to an Ithaca Voice editorial published yesterday, “The U.S. Senate just made the next Simeon’s crash more likely.”

As always, we are willing to republish alternative or dissenting viewpoints. Contact me at jstein@ithacavoice.com.

— Jeff Stein

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Dear Editor,

While I appreciate the concerns for keeping our roads safe, the lifting of the 70 hour work period to 82 hours over 8 days I believe to be a move in the right direction.

Ayn Rand, in her book, Atlas Shrugged, wrote: ..”when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from those who produce nothing – … you know your society is doomed.”

The Government limiting the truck driver to 70 hours of work over 8 days reminds of that very quote from Atlas Shrugged.

For more objective perspective on this ruling, in 8 days, there are 192 hours. If you figure 8.5 hours of sleep per night and 30 min for hygiene per day, you are left with 122 hours.

For the trucker to work 82 hours over and 8 day period, they are still left with 40 hours in those 8 days on top of their 8.5 of sleep per day and 30 minutes to shower, brush teeth and so on.

What is critical to appreciate is that this ruling keeps in place the limit of working up to 14 hours per day of which 11 hours maximum behind the wheel, so there should be no grave concern for sleep deprived drivers. If they are sleep deprived, that’s their fault for poor time use.

14 hours of work still leaves 10 hours per day to get sleep. At 14 hours per day, in 8 days, that would be 112 hour of work,

So no trucker is working 14 hours per day every day and I doubt any trucker would even want to.

This ruling allows the ambitious trucker to make more money for his family and gives his employer more flexibility in managing the employees hours.

It’s very likely also that the trucker is not working 82 per week every week of the year either. The trucker might have some 40 hour weeks when business is slow and the 82 hours weeks when business is busy.

More economic freedom is what our country needs, so I think this ruling is very much in the right direction.

No hourly limit per the Government but discretion of the trucker and his employer on creating limits is the most ideal.

Final word: Why are these rules based on 8 day period and not 7? I would think 7 day week rules would be substantially easier to manage.

Kind Regards,

Jason Tillberg

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Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.