• REASON INTERNSHIPS: If you have thoughts of making journalism a career, REASON may be able to help. We have put together an internship program to acquaint young journalists with the operation of the magazine. In the first three weeks, interns will have a chance to learn either the editing or publishing aspects of journalism. Depending upon the choice, the initial period will be spent on tasks such as copyediting manuscripts, writing for regular departments, and learning paste-up and layout. Internship will then research and write a major article on an aspect of government intervention, which will be criticized in detail by REASON editors, for publication in the magazine.
REASON believes that the internships will be a valuable experience for young journalists. They will also help to launch libertarians in a profession often unfriendly to free market thinking. If you are interested in the program, either as an applicant or as a prospective financial backer, contact Robert Poole, Jr. at P.O. Box 40105, Santa Barbara, CA 93103.
• LOWERING TAXES: Reason Press has just released a handbook of interest to anyone weary of paying high local taxes. In a study commissioned by the National Taxpayers Union, REASON editor Robert Poole, Jr. surveys the techniques used by enlightened municipalities to hold down spending. Much of the material is drawn from Poole's own consulting practice with local governments seeking to save money. The result is Cut Local Taxes, the first comprehensive guide to economizing in local government.
The National Taxpayers Union plans to promote the handbook as proof that local taxes are exorbitant. Because of the potential appeal to a wide market, the guide avoids theoretical arguments and emphasizes reforms that cut costs without reducing the quality of service. The clearly-explained examples show that privatization, performance contracting, and other new approaches regularly deliver more service for less money.
Copies are available at $2 apiece from Reason Press, Box 40105-H, Santa Barbara, CA 93103. Quantity discounts are available upon request.
• XEROX CAVES IN: Xerox Corp. has sponsored significant television specials in recent years, and decided last winter to sponsor "the First Xerox Special in Print"—a lengthy essay by Harrison Salisbury, "Travels Through America," which was carried in the February issue of Esquire. Under the terms of the sponsorship agreement, Esquire chose both the subject and the writer, and Xerox paid Salisbury $40,000 for his six months' work on the essay, plus $15,000 in expenses, and it also placed $115,000 worth of ads. Xerox had no editorial control over the essay, and although the company was free to disapprove Esquire's selection, Xerox could not stop Esquire from publishing the piece. Xerox's intent was "to help a magazine do something special which might be tough for them to do on their own." Presumably, Xerox also expected its business to benefit from the project.
Neither Esquire nor Salisbury were troubled by the arrangement, but E.B. White of the New Yorker published a critical letter asserting that the Xerox journalistic project "charts a clear course for the erosion of the free press in America." Because of White's contention that the "the funded article…is an invitation to evil," Xerox canceled two other Salisbury-type projects.
We regret that Xerox submitted to White's wrongheaded anticommercial concerns. We doubt that White would oppose government tax subsidies for education, as we do. At bottom, White's attack is directed against all paid advertisements in journals, newspapers, radio and T.V. He confuses the voluntary action of private entities with the coercive action of government. Xerox should be big enough to reassess its position, and, by the way, REASON would be happy to discuss a journalistic project with Xerox if they come around.
• HOW TO GET IT: We have received inquiries from readers asking how they can obtain a copy of The Occult Technology of Power, the anonymous satire which was favorably reviewed by Joe Cobb in REASON's May issue. The book may be purchased by sending $2.00 to Alpine Enterprises, Box 766, Dearborn, MI 48121.
In Paul Beaird's review of Lysander Spooner's Natural Law in the July issue, we mistakenly identified the publisher. The 4-page, 10 cent pamphlet, which was recommended by Beaird, was published by Laissez Faire Books, 206 Mercer St., New York NY 10012. For only 10 cents, you can obtain the pamphlet and Laissez Faire Book's current 50-page catalog.