Regulation of Railways By Samuel Dunn Includes a discussion of government owners

Regulation of Railways By Samuel Dunn Includes a discussion of government owners

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Regulation of Railways By Samuel Dunn Includes a discussion of government owners
Regulation of Railways By Samuel Dunn Includes a discussion of government ownership versus government control.  Hard Cover 1919   Indexed 354 Pages
When the preparation of this book was begun the United States was at peace with all the world and in a state of industrial depression.
While the book was being finished the nation was making gigantic preparations for developing and exerting its tremendous potential strength in the Great War, and was also in the midst of a period of extraordinary, although perhaps not healthy, industrial activity and prosperity.
Before the book could be published President Wilson decided that the system of private management and government regulation of railroads, which had prevailed since the Hepburn act went into effect in 1906, was not adapted to securing the efficiency in transportation required during the war ; and on December 28, 1917, he took, on behalf of the federal government, direct control of all railroads. He appointed a Director General of Railroads having supreme authority over regulation and management.
The foregoing summary statements show how rapidly important developments recently have occurred in the field of transportation.
The new system of government control is designed to serve merely as a war measure. It contemplates the return of each existing railway in unimpaired physical condition to the management of its owners on the corning of peace. But to return to the old system of management without first making important reforms of regulation would be extremely undesirable. It would mean a revival of the influences, tendencies and conditions which brought railway development almost to a stop before the war; which made it almost impossible for the carriers to handle all the business that came to them in the year and a half before this country entered the war and which made it entirely impossible for them to do so after this country entered the war. If the railways are to undergo no radical alteration in their ownership and management, their welfare and that of the public will require many changes in our past machinery and policy of regulation. The changes which the writer believes should be made in regulation are indicated in the following pages.
Perhaps radical changes should be made in our system of private ownership and management, as well as in our system of public regulation. Some able students of the subject believe that to solve our railroad problem under private ownership we must create a number of regional railroad holding companies. The government, under this plan, would guarantee a return on the stock sold by these companies ; and with the proceeds from its stock each company would acquire control of all the railways operating in an entire section of the country. The objects of this plan are to take the financial control of many railways from Wall street ; to stabilize railway securities ; to solve the problem presented by "weak" and "strong" roads in every territory; and to eliminate the wastes attributed to competition. The regional railroad holding company plan is discussed in the following pages.
Many persons believe not only that government control of railroad management during the war will make government ownership inevitable, but that government ownership and management will best solve our railroad problem. The question of government regulation versus government ownership also is quite fully discussed in the following pages.
A good deal of material which the author has used in magazine articles and public addresses is again used, but in thoroughly revised form, in the present work. Parts of Chapter II appeared in an article entitled, "What Is the Matter with Railway Regulation?" which was published in the North American Review for November, 1915, and in an article entitled, "Ten Years of Railroad Regulation," which was published in Scribner's Magazine for October, 1916. Chapter X was published in almost its present form in Scribner's Magazine for March, 1917. Large parts of Chapters XI, XII and XIII were published as parts of an article in the Yale Review for January, 1918. Chapter XIV is based upon an article having the same title which appeared in The Atlantic Monthly for February, 1915. Large parts of Chapters XV and XVI were published in the Journal of Political Economy for June, 1916. To the editors of these magazines the author extends thanks for kind permission to make use of this material in the present volume.

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