â€¢ ARTICLES PROVE PROPHETIC. Regular REASON readers should not be surprised at a number of recent developments that have been previewed in the magazine's pages.
Last year's biggest economic success, airline deregulation, was first proposed in REASON in 1969. Robert Poole's article "Fly the Frenzied Skies" (September 1969) exposed the CAB's role in limiting competition and cartelizing air transportation and called for abolition of the agency. As consequences of deregulation it predicted cuts in air fares, expansion of service, and a wave of mergersâ€"all of which are now taking place.
One of the architects of the CAB's rapid deregulation is Michael E. Levine, now head of the agency's Bureau of Pricing and Domestic Aviation. In his REASON article "The Airport Crisis and How to Solve It" (April 1973), Prof. Levine called for free-market pricing of airport landing rights as a way to solve congestion and capacity problems. Those ideas have become the basis for the CAB's latest campaign, announced by Levine in a November speech. The agency plans to work with the FAA to develop pricing mechanisms for high-traffic airports.
Another proposal from REASON has recently come to fruition. Charles Curley proposed in these pages that US gold reserves be used to mint one-ounce and half-ounce non-legal-tender coins, modeled after the Krugerrand ("A New US Gold Coinage," June 1975). In November President Carter signed into law the American Arts Gold Medallion Act of 1978 which does just that. Rather than honoring Ludwig von Mises and Thomas Jefferson, as Curley proposed, the new medallions will feature the likenesses of famous artistsâ€"the first two being Grant Wood and Marian Anderson. The other difference from Curley's proposal is that the medallions may be purchased with paper money. Curley had proposed requiring gold bullion in payment, thereby replenishing Treasury supplies with .995 fine gold (in place of the coin-melt .900 fine gold comprising most present US gold reserves), in anticipation of a return to the gold standard.
â€¢ FOUNDATION ACTIVITIES. In keeping with the Reason Foundation's role as an educational organization, we are making widely available two REASON articles of major significance. Copies of this month's issue, containing Warren Shore's article on Social Security, and of last month's issue, featuring Robert Poole's FAA article, have been sent to every member of Congress, all major news media, and selected business and government leaders. Contributions to further educational efforts of this type would be appreciated.
â€¢ MINIMUM WAGE IN THE CLASSROOM. The devastating effects of minimum wage laws on minority employment opportunities form the basis of a new classroom discussion guide for high schools. It consists of an essay by Prof. Walter E. Williams (author of "The New Jim Crow Laws," REASON, August 1978) plus a complete set of supporting materialsâ€"topic summary, graphs and statistics, discussion questions, glossary, pre- and post-tests, etc.â€"developed by educators at Cal State Northridge. It is available from the Education Department of the National Federation of Independent Business, 150 W. 20th Ave., San Mateo, CA 94403.
â€¢ LITERARY REVIVAL. The Kenyon Review, a distinguished literary journal that quietly stopped publishing in 1970 because of financial difficulties, is being brought back to life, to be published (as before) by well-regarded Kenyon College in Ohio. What leads the editors to think the new Kenyon Review has a chance? It will offer a wide range of literary formsâ€"not only poetry, fiction, and criticism, but essays on science and society, reviving the tradition in which Gibbon, Burke, and Hume were partly engaged in writing literature. And, says one of its editors, reported in a Wall Street Journal write-up (Oct. 20, 1978), there is a new audience of educated people who grew up in the '60s but have given up on that decade's clichesâ€"the bourgeois as the enemy of society, "authenticity" as the prime value, and technology as destructive of the better things in life. (Kenyon College, Gambier, OH 43022.)
â€¢ CONTRIBUTING EDITOR. The editors are pleased to add the name of William Marina to the masthead as a contributing editor. Bill teaches history at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, and has written for REASON and engaged in brainstorming with the editors on several occasions.