â€¢ SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY? We were startled several weeks ago to receive in the mail what looked like an imitation of our own April issue. There, in living color, was the same Boeing illustration of a solar power satellite under construction. Closer inspection revealed it to be, not the April REASON, but the June issue of the Futurist, magazine of the World Future Society. Given the long lead times involved in production, we don't really suspect imitation. Still, it's interesting to observe such parallel thinkingâ€"and fun to be first.
â€¢ PUBLICITY. Editor Robert Poole's syndicated column on private building codes was reprinted in the May/June issue of Automation in Housing/Systems Building News. That's the same column that was inserted in the Congressional Record by Rep. Ron Paul several months ago. Poole was also quoted in an article on the growth of the Chicago school of economics, "The Men Who Sell the Free Market," in the June issue of Dun's Review. And speaking of selling the free market, contributing editor Henry Manne's Law and Economics Center at the University of Miami was the subject of a long article in the May 21 issue of Fortune.
REASON will be well represented at the forthcoming national convention of the Libertarian Party. There will be a REASON sales booth, a special event (details to be announced), and workshops by two of the editors. Senior Editor Manuel S. Klausner will lead a workshop for libertarian lawyers, while Editor Robert Poole will lead panel discussions on (1) libertarian publications and (2) libertarianism and futurism. The convention takes place September 6-9 at the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles.
â€¢ MEDIA. More and more articles questioning big government are appearing. The June Atlantic Monthly carried a forthright attack on the FDA's saccharin ban and the Delaney Clause that led to it. And the Washington Monthly continues to lambaste bureaucracy and sacred cows: "Abolish the SBA," in its April issue called for just that, while "Saving Our Schools from the Teachers' Unions" (May) exposed the effects of union monopoly on the Washington, D.C., public schools. The barrage continued in June with an attack on HEW empire-building in the name of aiding handicapped children and a debunking of sunset laws as ineffective. Heady stuff!
â€¢ NOTORIETY. The libertarian movement has officially come to the attention of National Review, whose June 8 issue carries a 12-page attack in which libertarianism is equated with anarchism, isolationism, and utopianism. REASON, the largest of the periodicals with a libertarian orientation, received only two brief mentionsâ€"since an accurate description of its contents would have undercut the authors' attempt at grossly misrepresenting libertarianism. Murray Rothbard, who bore the brunt of author Ernest van den Haag's attack, replies on p. 42 of this issue.
â€¢ LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE. After spending a year at the Office of Policy Analysis of the Department of the Interior, Prof. Eugene Bardach emerged substantially disillusioned. He concluded his recent book, The Implementation Game: What Happens after a Bill Becomes Law (MIT Press, 1977), with the following sober assessment:
The longer I watch the evolution of public policies and programs, and the closer I get to the process, the more attached I become to the first two heresies, described in the Introduction, which currently threaten the ideology of liberal reform: government ought not to do many of the things liberal reform has traditionally asked of it; and even when, in some abstract sense, government does pursue appropriate goals, it is not very well suited to achieving them. Markets and mores are sturdier and more sensible, and government is probably less sensible and less reliable than liberal reformers have been willing to admit.
Yet another nail in the coffin of Big Government.