The Distribution of Power to Regulate Interstate Carriers between the Nation and the States

The Distribution of Power to Regulate Interstate Carriers between the Nation and the States

The Distribution of Power to Regulate Interstate Carriers between the Nation and the States

The Distribution of Power to Regulate Interstate Carriers between the Nation and the States

Excerpt

In the study of transportation in the United States, economic and legal considerations are inextricably commingled. The economist and the lawyer are mutually dependent upon each other's services in their attempts to solve the problems which confront them in the transportation industry.

Transportation in most of its aspects is a highly regulated industry. The economist cannot analyze existing conditions in this industry nor venture predictions concerning its future without giving careful attention to the influences of state and federal regulation. In weighing the effects of regulation, he finds that its character and scope are determined, not only by legislative considerations of expediency, but also by legal restraints upon legislative power. The validity of regulatory legislation is decided by the courts. The history of the regulation of transportation cannot omit the prominent role played by the courts, and in attempting to improve existing conditions the attitude of the courts toward every proposed change in regulatory policy must be considered. Therefore, the economist must have some knowledge of the legal principles applicable to legislative power when he interprets the present status of the regulation of transportation and when he proposes changes therein. Furthermore, he is vitally interested in the transportation industry as a source of public revenues. From the standpoint of the amount of taxes paid by that industry, its property investment and its earning capacity, it occupies a very prominent place in the study of taxation. Here also attention must be given to legal considerations. Many taxes . . .

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