â€¢ PUBLICITY. REASON articles and contributors continue to receive widespread publicity. James Dunn's article "Back to the Land: Environmental Suicide," from our March 1978 issue, has been condensed and distributed nationwide as an op-ed feature by Reddy Communications, a news service of the electric power industry. Sam Blumenfeld's historical detective work, "Why the Schools Went Public" (Mar. 1979), is being reprinted by Alpha Omega Publishing for use in summer seminars for private school personnel.
REASON contributor and Nobel laureate F.A. Hayek was the subject of a long and basically favorable article in the New York Times on May 7. Titled "New Vogue for Critic of Keynes," the article mentioned that Britain's new prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, is said to be a strong supporter of Hayek's views. The article reviewed Hayek's long career and included some forthright quotes critical of the welfare state. Editor Robert Poole, Jr.'s Futurist article, "Looking Back: How City Hall Withered," was the subject of Jeremy Campbell's column in the December 6 edition of the London Evening Standard. The article went on to cite additional examples of private-enterprise provision of public services.
â€¢ NEW GROUP. A promising new organization has just set up shop in Washington, D.C. Called the Council for a Competitive Economy, its purpose is to unite business leaders who favor real free enterpriseâ€"no subsidies, tariffs, loan guarantees, or any other special privileges or restrictions on competition. The idea is that business will not win respect for its calls for deregulation until it stops running to Washington for favors. The CCE gets its inspiration from a discussion by William Simon in his book, A Time for Truth, calling for "a group of genuinely principled businessmen" to organize and work for economic freedom.
Taking Simon's words to heart, Wichita industrialist Charles Koch has been working for the past year to line up initial support. Joining him on the CCE board are such figures as Simon, Bob Kephart, Herbert Cornuelle, Joseph Coberly, and several others. The advisory board includes a number of REASON people, including editor Poole, contributing editors Jim Davidson, Henry Manne, and Murray Rothbard, and contributors D.T. Armentano, Nathaniel Branden, M. Bruce Johnson, Hans Sennholz, and Leland Yeager, among others. Those wishing more information should write to the executive director, David Boaz, Council for a Competitive Economy, 410 First St., S.E., Washington, DC 20003.
â€¢ ATLAS SHOT DOWN? We have received the disturbing news that NBC's Fred Silverman has canceled the Atlas Shrugged TV-movie project. So reports producer Michael Jaffe from Hollywood. The alleged reason is NBC's opinion that the book does not provide enough dramatic material to sustain eight hours of TV. Asked his reaction to this charge, Jaffe's succinct response was, "Bullshit!" Some libertarians are speculating that the project was axed because some people feared the political impact that Atlas Shrugged on TV might have had shortly before the 1980 elections (when it was due to be aired).
Atlas fans, organized by Californian Dick Saum, have begun a nationwide letter-writing campaign to get NBC to reconsider. After all, Saum reasons, if it worked for Star Trek a decade ago, it might just work again. Those who would like to participate are urged to direct their letters to Mr. Fred Silverman, NBC-TV, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020.
â€¢ WARNING. Last year REASON ran an advertisement by an Atlanta, Georgia, group called Universal Research Institute. It offered a $15 book on tax avoidance. There was a problem with this firm, thoughâ€"it has never paid for the ad (and for a second one it ordered but never sent). Our letters and invoices have just been ignored. For awhile we assumed that it was just another fly-by-night that had gone out of business. But noâ€"all of a sudden its ads are popping up all over, headlined "How to Immediately Reduce Your Taxes 48.7%." And now the price is up to $20. We can't tell you what to do, but we'd urge people to think twice about dealing with people who don't pay their bills.
â€¢ JOB OPENINGS. A private business college with a free-market orientation has several faculty openings. Northwood Institute, a 1,650-student undergraduate college, is especially seeking Ph.D. economists in order to expand that department. Those interested should contact Dr. David E. Fry, Dean of Academic Affairs, Northwood Institute, Midland, MI 48640.