The picture depicted herein is a dreadfully pessimistic one, but one based on the reasons why the problems of the independent regulatory agencies are substantially more serious than acknowledged by the Ash Commission and the long line of traditionalist reformers who preceded the Ash Commission. Whatever the chances of reform might have been in the past, there is reason to believe that the problems of the agencies today are too large and too burdensome. In brief, there is reason to conclude that the agencies are not serving the public interests of consumers, the private interests of regulated industries, or the interests of government itself. And, meanwhile, public aspirations for economic stability and security have been rising. In a sense, Congress seems ready to throw up its hands at the mess for which it is so largely responsible and at the aspirations that go above and beyond public regulation of selected vital industries, including transportation, communications, energy, and finance.