Consumerism: Nader's Raiders Strike Again

Regulatory bodies, like the people who comprise them, have a marked life cycle. In youth, they are vigorous, aggressive, evangelistic and even intolerant. Later they mellow, and in old age—after a matter of ten or 15 years—they become, with some exceptions, either an arm of the industry they are regulating or senile.

—John Kenneth Galbraith

Critics of the Interstate Commerce Commission have long argued that it manages to be captive and senile at the same time. Last year seven law students, directed by Consumer Advocate Ralph Nader, delved deep into the ICC's record and conducted more than 500 interviews, mail surveys and...