I. L Sharfman, Railway Regulation (1913), pp. 23-25:
RAILWAY DISCRIMINATION AND THE PUBLIC WELFARE
The danger as well as the injustice of discriminatory practices cannot be overemphasized. If our industrial life is to reach its natural and most efficient economic development, there must be freedom of enterprise and fairness of treatment for all persons, all sections, and all undertakings. In a sense, transportation is a fundamental industry underlying all others, for it is essential to the conduct of all business and goes far towards determining the direction and conditions of industrial activity. The item of transportation, whatever it may be, is one of the elements in all costs, and the outcome of competition between different producers may be largely affected by any divergence in railway rates which must be paid by each of two or more competitors. It follows clearly, then, that the railway officials who make transportation rates exercise a tremendous power.
By the soundness of their adjustment of rates and by the degree of fairness with which established rates are observed, the railways may profoundly affect—or, even absolutely determine—the prosperity of individuals, of industries, of cities and towns, or of entire sections of the country.
By discriminating between competing shippers, they may destroy the business of one and build up that of another, making one man rich and another poor.
By stimulating or discouraging a particular class of traffic, they may increase or diminish the importance of industries and the extent of production in particular lines of commerce, thus shaping the direction of industrial activity.
By discriminating among cities and towns, they may cause one to grow and another to decay, and thus determine the commercial importance of business centers.
By modifying their rate schedules in special instances, they may determine the location of industries, guide the movements of population, and affect the prosperity and welfare of extensive localities.
By these unfair practices the railways also have it within their power to build up industrial monopoly; and the most powerful of the trusts against which the people are now struggling made their first advances towards control of the market through the agency of special favors in the form of railway discriminations.