Masters Thesis

The Jones Act – The real natural disaster: an analysis of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920.

The purpose of this study is to analyze the Jones Act (Merchant Marine Act of 1920), to assess if it has achieved its main goals and to measure what type of impact it’s had on the US economy, specifically that of Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and Puerto Rico. This analysis will lead us to see if the Jones Act law is still relevant in the 21st century and hopefully bring us to a clearer conclusion to see if it is now time to bring this law to an end. This study will also evaluate the unintended consequences brought upon by the Jones Act, such as lack of competition, loss of jobs, higher costs of goods for consumers, and will analyze the type of impact this law has had on US consumers and the shipbuilding industry. It will analyze if repealing or reforming the law can have any influence on US national security and defense. The following categories will be analyzed regarding the Jones Act to determine what are the advantages or disadvantages of the law, and what type of impact it has had to the following areas: -Commercial ship building industry -National Defense and Merchant Marine Force -Consumers, employment, and economy. -Economies of Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and Puerto Rico; with emphasis on the current state of crisis in Puerto Rico post Hurricane Maria. This report examines existing research on the Jones Act to gain a clearer perspective on how it has succeeded (or failed) in its objectives. This study assesses the effect the Jones Act is having on the economic crisis in Puerto Rico. This analysis will help assess if the Jones Act should be reformed, completely repealed, and/or if there are any alternatives that should be in place of this law.

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