Excerpt from Public Ownership of Railroads: Statement of Hon. Albert M. Todd, President of the Public Ownership League of America, in the Hearings Before the Committee on Interstate Commerce, United States Senate, Sixty Fifth Congress, Third Session, February 21, 1919
We respectfully urge that this honorable committee report to the Senate in favor of actual Government ownership of our railways for the following reasons: First, Government ownership of our railways is desirable; second, it is practicable; and third, it is the only right solution of our great reconstruction problem.
I. Government ownership and management of our railways is highly desirable: First, because it, like our postal service, will be run for the general social welfare, not for any particular group or class of men.
Second, because the railways are a natural monopoly, and a private monopoly is abhorrent to democracy.
Third, because Federal and State Government regulation has ever failed of its purpose and will continue to do so no matter how stringent Congress attempts to devise the regulations.
Fourth, because of the tremendous evils of private ownership under either strict regulation or even Government control without ownership.
Fifth, because the Government has shown that it can handle the railroads success fully, even under the most adverse conditions and in the face of a host of unparalleled obstacles which would not have been so well met by the railroads even if free from all regulation.
A list of 15 of the most serious of these obstacles and a list of 25 of the most out standing accomplishments of the Railroad Administration we give in the body of our argument.
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