That it took until the end of last year to pass legislation dismantling the Interstate Commerce Commission points up a sad reality: Once the government comes in to regulate an industry on some aspect or another, it generally manages to outwear its welcome.

The Interstate Commerce Commission, our first regulatory agency, was established in 1887 to control railroad rates. And, though time and technology - especially the automobile - forced competitive reins on railroad monopolies by the 1940s, the ICC kept rolling along well into the 1990s.

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