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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Railroad Boom: On the Ethics of the Drawback

In the first quarter of 2013, North America’s freight railroads were “in the midst of a building boom,” according to the New York Times, “unlike anything since the industry’s Gilded Age heyday in the 19th century. Meanwhile, trucking languished under high fuel prices, crowded highways, driver shortages, and cost-driving regulations. Meanwhile, freight rates were nearly half what they had been in the early 1980s. This cost advantage was also contributing to making North America competitive again in manufacturing. The railroads were doing their part to take up the slack. In 2013 alone, $14 billion was to be spent on rail yards, refueling stations, and additional track. That was the third year in a row of record capital spending. In 2003, it had been a mere $5.9 billion.

The full essay is in The full essay is in Cases of Unethical Business: A Malignant Mentality of Mendacity, available in print and as an ebook at Amazon.com.