Railroad Rebates: Exposé of illegal railway rebates in the early 1900s

Ray Stannard Baker, Railroad RebatesMcClure’s, December 1905, second of a five-part series. “One of the chief purposes of taxation is to build and maintain roads…. The railroad, by all the laws of the nation, is quite as much a highway as is a wagon road. But instead of levying direct taxes for keeping up the rail-highways…we Americans ‘farm out’ the power of taxation to private individuals organized as a railroad corporation….  The instrument tat conveys this power upon a railroad company is a ‘charter.’ It gives the railroad company the right to operate the rail-highways and to charge a freight-rate (a tax) for doing it.” [Read more…]