America’s railroads provide cost-effective freight transportation for consumers and thousands of jobs for workers—all while generating a fraction of the emissions of its competitors. These benefits are the product of deregulation in the 1980s that slashed inefficiency and brought the railroads back from the brink of collapse.
However, a new report highlights how these public benefits are once again coming under pressure from proposed onerous regulations. History shows that price setting and regulatory meddling will eventually extinguish the benefits that rail transportation affords.
For much of the 20th century, federal regulators tightly controlled the railroad industry, including rail investment and prices. By the 1970s, several major carriers were on the verge of bankruptcy, and lawmakers, facing the prospect of costly bailouts, acted boldly and repealed onerous regulations, allowing market forces to re-energize the industry. In the 40+ years […]
You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Recently, presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg joined a rally in San Francisco to support Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which would transition drivers from “contractor” to “employee” status. Despite his criticism of Uber and Lyft, Buttigieg’s staff have already spent $9,000 on the services in the first […]
If bills were judged only by their titles, it would be hard to find fault in Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s latest proposal, the Loan Shark Prevention Act. But don’t be fooled. The crux of the bill is a 15 percent APR cap on all consumer loans, which would destroy the small-dollar lending […]
Suppose there was a collection of laws, that cost the average American household $1,600 every year with little to no demonstrable benefit. You would hope voters would demand its repeal and policymakers would act swiftly to lift this needless burden. It turns out there are such laws — thousands of them, in fact. The culprits […]
The U.S. Senate seems poised to confirm three new members to the five-person Surface Transportation Board (STB), the agency responsible for regulating our nation’s railroads, including companies like CSX and Norfolk Southern in Pennsylvania. These nominations have been stalled for months, diminishing the STB’s ability to fulfill its mission to help ensure the free flow […]
Slated to join the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB), the primary agency tasked with overseeing the financial functions of private U.S. freight railroads that maintain an outsized presence in Chicago, is former Metra Chairman Martin Oberman. If confirmed – likely in the lame duck session in the U.S. Congress – Oberman will need to deal […]
The Surface Transportation Board (STB) is considering rules that could drive up consumer costs and is unnecessary. If confirmed by the Senate in the next few weeks, the incoming members of the STB should recognize the lessons of history and oppose any effort to expand the use of forced access in the railroad industry. To read […]
Some politicians, it seems, have trouble learning the lessons of history. An effort is underway in the U.S. Senate to create strict government price controls on airlines, a return to the era when federal bureaucrats set airfares, selected domestic routes and regulated flight schedules, which resulted in artificially higher prices, stifled competition, and a massive […]
For decades, the United States has been at the forefront of technological innovation. It may be easy to take for granted, but the American record of accomplishment is unparalleled – from inventing the lightbulb, to walking on the moon, and even being the first to deliver 4G wireless. Throughout the years, Americans have come to […]