• READER SURVEY: REASON is in the process of conducting a reader survey. Approximately 10 percent of our readers will soon receive a questionnaire in the mail, which asks readers to tell us what you like and dislike about REASON, and to provide additional data about yourselves.
The questionnaire is an important means of getting information to help us evaluate the need for changes in REASON, and to assist us in preparing an up-to-date subscriber "profile" for advertisers. We urge each subscriber receiving a questionnaire to promptly fill it out and return it in the envelope provided. Highlights of the survey will be published in a future issue.
• REASON INDEX: We are delighted to see the excellent new Index to REASON, published by Loompanics Unlimited. The 28-page publication contains a comprehensive index to the first six volumes of REASON (Spring 1968–April 1975), in a very readable and well laid out format. The professional quality Index has a useful introduction, "How To Use the Index," and covers the thousands of entries which have appeared in the first 68 issues of REASON.
The main drawback of the Index is its lack of subject index (listings are by issue, title and author), but the diversity of subjects covered in REASON would make a subject index very difficult to compile. We hope the Index will be updated and that future editions would correct some minor flaws (the Index does not identify REASON's Special Issues and doesn't list titles of REASON interviews, and there are a few typographical errors and omissions).
The Index is a valuable, practical tool for everyone interested in the literature of freedom. We highly recommend the Index, which is available by sending $4.00 to Loompanics Unlimited, Box 264, Mason, MI 48854.
• "STEADY AS SHE SINKS": The April 25 cover story of the British journal, The Economist, focused on the sorry plight of the British economy. Entitled "Steady as She Sinks," the April 25 issue was the subject of a well-written editorial in the Wall Street Journal (April 29), "Good-Bye, Great Britain," explaining how the British economy is sinking as "the ultimate consequence of the welfare-state-manic-Keynesian syndrome."
On the home front, New York City is approaching the brink, with city and state officials desperately searching for relief from the city's grave financial crisis. With one out of every eight citizens on welfare and the city providing its residents with a vast range of "free" services, plus extravagant salaries and pensions to some 338,000 city employees, New York City has dramatized the consequences of years of rampant welfarism and irresponsible spending. The second-largest government in the U.S., New York City spends far more per capita than any other city—and its taxes are, therefore, higher per capita than anywhere else in the U.S. Perhaps to illustrate a natural affinity between politicians and garbage, the city uses its employees to pick up garbage—at an estimated cost of $45 a ton, compared with the cost of using private companies which do the same job for $22 a ton in San Francisco, $19 a ton in Boston and $18 a ton in Minneapolis.
New York City's financial fate is still in doubt as we go to press, because of its difficulties in raising cash to meet its current bills. From our vantage point in California, we wonder whether New York City and Great Britain will each be able to avert financial disaster, or which of them will be the first to sink.
• COLLECTING BENEFITS BY MAIL: In discussing New York City's irresponsible spending, it is sad to note that New York State—which is itself hard-pressed for funds—is presently doling out an estimated $3.6 million a week in unemployment insurance benefits to some 50,000 New Yorkers who claim they are "temporarily" living and "looking for work" in other states. According to the director of New York's Unemployment Insurance Division, federal law requires each of the 50 states to permit jobless residents to move to states where the job market may be better, "in line with the American philosophy of the mobility of labor." 12,000 of New York's out-of-state claimants live in Florida (many of them have retired and are not looking for work), while 6,000 live in Puerto Rico and 5,000 in California. At the same time, about 12,000 residents of other states are currently "looking for work" in New York, and are receiving unemployment insurance checks by mail from their home states. Sometimes we wonder…