â€¢ FOUNDATION UPDATE. The Reason Foundation continues to develop new projects to study the intellectual case for a free society. Under our Liberty Fund-sponsored summer research program, for example, 17 resident fellows are hard at work on a variety of topics in political philosophy. Bruce Bell is studying the implications of the issue of burden of proof as applied to the Food and Drug Administration's drug and food additive testing policies. Several of the fellows are writing books: Allan Buchanan, for example, is working on a book scrutinizing Marx's attack on the concept of rights; Leonard Billet's book reinterprets Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations as fundamentally concerned with questions of justice in economic relationships; David Levy's book involves controversy between classical economic theory and traditional philosophy. Among other projects, Arthur M. Diamond is examining the question of government financing of pure scientific research, while Lynn Scarlett is exploring "appropriate technology" and Third World development.
Another project now underway is the preparation of a book on alternatives to federal regulatory agencies. Entitled Instead of Regulation, the volume will tackle 12 of the major federal regulatory agencies (ICC, FCC, OSHA, EPA, FDA, etc.)â€"in each case comparing actual performance with the intentions of supporters, and then examining alternative social and economic means of dealing with the area in question (frequency-spectrum management, workplace safety, pollution, etc.). Each chapter will deal with one of the agencies and will be written by an authority in the field. Among the contributors will be George Hilton (ICC), Alan Reynolds (DOE), Robert S. Smith (OSHA), Mark Crain (NHTSA), and Ida Walters (FCC). The volume will be edited by Robert Poole, Jr., who will also write the chapter on the FAA. Contributions to support this project are being sought.
The second issue of our quarterly report on the Foundation's activitiesâ€"Reason Reportâ€"was published in July. The Report has been sent to all contributors to the Reason Foundation.
â€¢ CARTOON FAME. Our regular political cartoonist, John Trever of the Albuquerque Journal, has received an Honorable Mention in the United States Industrial Council's annual Dragonslayer Awards for political cartoons. And our own Randy Hylkema's unique Rudebarbs comic strips have been collected into book form, by Books in Focus, Box 3481 Grand Central Station, NYC 10017. $5.20 ppd. (plus sales tax in New York).
â€¢ GOOD READING. Among the interesting and worthwhile articles we've seen recently, check out contributing editor Jim Davidson's "25 Myths of the Energy Crisis" in the July Penthouse. Also on the subject of energy is Playboy's August interview with physicist Edward Teller (interviewed in REASON, June 1976). If Commentary is more to your taste, Samuel McCracken's "The Harrisburg Syndrome" (June) is a well-done look at recent nuclear power issues. And the same magazine's July issue features civil rights leader Bayard Rustin's very sensible case for recognition of the new government in Zimbabwe-Rhodesia. Also highly recommended is Walter Karp's brilliantly libertarian article, "Republican Virtues" in the July issue of Harper's.
â€¢ BIG SEND-OFF. Harper and Row is launching what they call "the biggest advertising campaign in publishing history" to promote Robert Ringer's new book, Restoring the American Dream, excerpted in our September issue. The first printing is a huge 200,000. It looks as though the libertarian message is about to reach a vast new audience.
â€¢ NEW MAGAZINE. One of America's oldest magazines has become something completely new. Argosy, since 1882 a men's adventure magazine, has become instead "an ombudsman for the American taxpayer." The magazine's August issue, the first in the new format, features a cover story on Howard Jarvis, an illustrated article on the private fire department in Scottsdale, Arizona (first featured in REASON in May 1976), exposÃ©s of Amtrak and OSHA, and a variety of other articles on taxation and big government. Only time will tell whether the new format will succeed, but the fact that Argosy's publisher made the change is yet another significant straw in the wind.
â€¢ WELCOME BACK. After a several-month hiatus, John R. Lott has rejoined REASON as our Spotlight columnist. John is a graduate student in economics at UCLA and also works for the UCLA-based International Institute for Economic Research.