Desire to Kill the Streetcar
Date Written:  2016-05-13
Publisher:  Messy Nessy
Year Published:  2016
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20479

The author analyzes the conspiracy by large corporations to monopolize the American transit system and its fuel system.



In the 1920 and 30s, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle and countless other major American cities had sprawling electric streetcar rail systems until General Motors, Standard Oil, Phillips Petroleum and Firestone bought up a controlling interest in National City Lines. Once the monopolising companies owned the railways, they shut them down, forcing Americans to buy cars or ride GM-manufactured buses, fuelled with Standard Oil and Phillips Petroleum, and fitted with Firestone tyres. This deliberate campaign to kill the electric-powered streetcars is known as the General Motors conspiracy.

The full story didn't become public knowledge until a Harvard Law began investigating the conspiracy in the seventies and took it all the way to the Senate. During the hearings, which brought forward the proposal to restructure the automobile, truck, bus, and rail industries, General Motors was described as 'a sovereign economic state' and affirmed that the company played a major role in the displacement of rail and bus transportation by buses and trucks.

"When National City Lines would acquire a transit system, the trolley rails would be ripped up, the overhead wires would be cut down, and the system would be converted to buses within 90 days."

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