This special double issue is Reason's annual financial issue, a tradition begun in 1974. Reason had been around for six years at the time, the economy was in turmoil, and previously novel hard-money investments were becoming the norm. Two free-market-minded investment advisors, Robert H. Meier and Edward H. Crate III, put together a blockbuster financial issue that covered everything from bullion to yen. The readers liked it, and liked it in the ensuing years; and so here we are.
The cover story this month is the second in Jack Wheeler's series of investigations of Third World guerrilla movements that are opposing Soviet-backed Marxist governments. For our April story, Wheeler had traveled with Jonas Savimbi and his UNITA troops in Angola. And for this one he slipped into Nicaragua with some of the Contras operating out of Honduras. He relates his findings and some background on the situation in Nicaragua beginning on page 28.
Mark Skousen debuts on page 74 as the magazine's new investment-advice columnist. Reason has had a Money column since February 1973, and financial writer Steve Beckner, author of The Hard Money Book, did the column bimonthly since 1980. Steve's own work (financial and investment reporting for the Washington Times) is less advisory than reportorial these days, so we're bringing on board investment expert Mark Skousen. Besides having authored several investment books (Mark Skousens Complete Guide to Financial Privacy and High Finance on a Low Budget), he is the editor of the newsletter Forecasts & Strategies and consulting editor of several others. Coincidentally with this change, we have renamed the column "Investments." We hope you look forward to Mr. Skousen's thoughts every other month, and we wish Steve Beckner well in his work.
Reason is continuing to evolve on other counts, as well. A new department in the back of the book titled "Life & Liberty" appears on page 78. We thus end a long tradition of monthly movie reviews and the recent addition of occasional theater reviews. Our plan in Life & Liberty is to continue to cover the cultural terrain, sometimes with reviews of current offerings and sometimes with more broadly inspired pieces on the arts. But we also want to have a forum for other sorts of reflections and analyses on the things that concern and delight human beings outside the political realm. We hope you enjoy the department as it unfolds over the coming months.
If you care about personal freedom, where are the best and worst places in the country to live? The editors are thinking about doing a story on just that subject, and you could help. Do you know of instances in which your state or locality makes it particularly difficult-or easy- to do what you want to do (set up a business, operate a private school, work out of your home, incorporate, provide a service such as gardening or child care...)? If so, you might let us know, with a newspaper clipping, a short note, whatever gives us information about the law or policy. Send it to: WHERE TO LIVE, Reason, Box 40105, Santa Barbara, CA 93103.
For a song, you can win $100! The Rampart Institute is sponsoring a contest for the best original ballad, sing-along, or folksong celebrating individual liberty. Details can be obtained from P.O. Box 4, Fullerton, CA 92623.
Readers who want a good overview of the progress of privatization in Great Britain (a subject covered here in John Blundell's February 1983 article) may want to order a new report on the subject. It's called "Privatization in Britain: The Threat Turns into a Promise-of Higher Efficiency," and is written by Michael W. Imeson. It is available for $3.00 from the Council for International Urban Liaison, 1120 G Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005.
Just since last issue's announcement of our new Reason Foundation radio program, Perspective on the Economy, Reason readers have helped us add four more stations to our network, for a total of 159. Within the next month you'll be receiving a letter explaining how you can help to keep Perspective on the air and growing. We'll enclose a copy of our new brochure that you can take to your favorite radio station to tell them all about the program. We hope to have Perspective on 200 to 250 stations by year-end.
-R. W. P.