• CHANGES: As some of you have noticed, several departments have not appeared in our pages the past several months. Frontlines, Foreign Correspondent, and Washington Watch have been phased out, to make room for an increased amount of articles, book reviews and some upcoming new departments. The common denominator of these features was their orientation toward activism and the libertarian movement. In order for REASON to grow into the kind of general-interest magazine we want it to be, the editors have decided that features focused on the libertarian movement, per se, are of too limited interest to be included. REASON's purpose, as a magazine, is to present ideas to an aware, thinking readership. It is not to foster a movement (though we all, as individuals, wish the libertarian movement to grow and prosper).
Hence, the editorial changes noted above. We think they will make for a livelier, better-integrated, more marketable magazine. Over the next two years we plan to double REASON's readership, reaching many more people with our fresh, new approach to current issues and problems. I hope you like the changes in REASON and welcome your comments and suggestions.
• NEWSLETTER: As noted above, the editors remain personally committed to the growth of the libertarian movement. So much so that we are now launching an entirely new publication for and about the libertarian movement. It will be called FRONTLINES and will appear every month.
The ad on the inside front cover describes the concept of FRONTLINES in more detail. Here I'd like to explain why we decided to create the newsletter. We had, of course, some good writers and features that no longer fit very well within REASON, as it is now evolving. But more importantly, we're concerned about what sort of information is circulating within the movement. At present there is really no independent libertarian publication of any size or reach. There are, to be sure, several magazines and newsletters published by or linked closely with particular libertarian organizations. They do a good job of promoting the views of the leaders of those organizations—but that is a far cry from independent libertarian journalism.
What we think the movement needs—desperately—is a national (indeed, international) publication that is not an organ for a particular faction of the movement—be it the Libertarian Party, the Society for Individual Liberty, anti-politics libertarians, or what-have-you. Such a publication would be open to the views of all factions. It would carry on the needed debates on ideology, on strategy, on tactics—without being committed to a particular outcome. It would report on conflicts, controversies, and power struggles. Such a publication would do much to ensure the vitality of the libertarian movement.
That's what we intend to accomplish with FRONTLINES—and from looking through our first issue, I think we've succeeded. I hope you'll decide to see for yourself. We've enclosed an order form with this issue.
• CONTEST: The Center for Study of Public Choice at Virginia Polytechnic Institute—one of a growing number of free-market-oriented university think tanks—is sponsoring an essay contest. The subject is "The Economics of Labor Unions." A total of $16,000 in prize money is to be awarded: $2,000 each for the best eight essays. The deadline for entries is December 31, 1978. Direct inquiries to Prof. Gordon Tullock, Center for Study of Public Choice, VPI&SU, Blacksburg, VA 24061.
• PUBLICITY: Prof. Walter Williams, author of "The New Jim Crow Laws" (August, p. 16) has played a major role in drafting a set of policy proposals aimed at breaking down many of the government-created economic barriers to minorities that were documented in his article. The proposals include access to competing educational systems by means of voucher programs, a youth differential in the minimum wage, removal of occupational licensure restrictions so as to substantially reduce the costs of entering many professions, and removal of entry restrictions in major areas of transportation, particularly in trucking and taxicabs. The proposals have been issued by the Task Force on Policy Initiatives of the American Conservative Union, and were announced by Prof. Williams and former Sen. James Buckley at a Washington news conference.