Who are the 47 percent? 5 jobs held by people who pay no income tax.

Mitt Romney says 47 percent of Americans don't pay federal income taxes – and he was right. Half of that 47 percent are workers who hold jobs that don't pay enough for them to owe income taxes to Uncle Sam. What kinds of jobs are these?

4. Truck drivers

Aaron Josefczyk/REUTERS
A truck driver selects food from a lunch buffet inside a TA Truck stop in Lodi, Ohio, on July 9.

America’s goods often move by truck.

But being a trucker is a tough job. As the BLS notes, driving a truck is “major lifestyle choice, because these drivers can be away from home for days or weeks at a time.”

Truckers are feeling pressured in other ways, too. Diesel fuel is expensive for the independents. There are limits on how long the driver can remain behind the wheel without rest. National fleets are trying to recruit drivers with clean records. As a result, the American Trucking Association says the turnover rate for drivers is now over 100 percent per year. The ATA estimates the industry needs 20,000 to 30,000 drivers.

In New York, Philip Wilson, a driver for Mom’s & Son Transport, says he likes driving a truck because he gets to meet different people and go to different places. The downside of his trade: traffic and tickets.

The BLS says the 771,000 short-haul drivers such as Mr. Wilson make a mean annual salary of $33,120. The 1.5 million long haul truckers make $39,830. Neither short haul or long haul truckers would owe any federal income tax if they make less than $46,400 a year.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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