This month commemorates an important economic milestone for the nation — the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Act, the railroad deregulation legislation signed into law by then-President Jimmy CarterJimmy CarterBiden, Democrats see late opportunity in Texas Jimmy Carter celebrating 96th birthday at home in Georgia The Hill’s Morning Report – Pelosi, Mnuchin make last-ditch effort for COVID-19 relief deal MORE.
The law might not be widely known outside a small circle of transportation experts, but it is safe to say that all Americans continue to benefit from it daily. The remarkable success of the law enabled the market to accomplish what regulators could not. It spared the U.S. railroads from bankruptcy, increased competition, dramatically dropped shipping costs and saved consumers billions of dollars annually in lower priced goods.
To get a fuller appreciation of the success of these regulatory reforms, it is necessary to step back a half