Destroying America’s Railroads: The Killing Burden of Government Regulation

What can business leaders do about the ever-increasing burden of federal regulation? In “Reviving Capitalism: Lessons from the Near-Death and Rebirth of American Railroads,” a study released today by the Competitive Enterprise Institute,  Fred L. Smith, Jr. and Marc Scribner explain how regulations can cripple an entire industry – and how they can be turned back – by presenting the dramatic story of the growth, decline, and eventual resurgence of America’s railroads.

Lessons learned by the rail industry provide today’s business leaders with strategies for resisting such burdens on their own companies. By leveraging existing partnerships with business allies, CEOs, managers, and investors can promote economic freedom and gain support in the political sphere.

“Business leaders are good at communicating how they advance the interest of their economic partners, but they are much less expert at conveying how private enterprise also advances cultural values,” said Smith, director of CEI’s Center for Advancing Capitalism. “Today, business success requires successfully promoting economic freedom in the public policy arena as well promoting one’s product to customers.”

“The political and economic history of American railroads suggests that regulatory restrictions can be reduced as well as expanded,” said Scribner, a fellow at CEI. “It also offers concrete lessons on how other types of businesses might respond to threats of government overregulation and gain greater economic freedom in general.”

To read “Reviving Capitalism: Lessons from the Near-Death Experience and Revival of American Railroads” click here.