Editor's Notes


REASON's ranks have grown again. With this issue, Matthew Burbott takes over as art director, replacing Nanette Boyer. Matt comes to us from New West, where he started out doing paste-up work and advanced to assistant art director. In addition to handling the design and layout of each month's issue of REASON, he will be meeting the Foundation's many other needs for graphic materials, which all adds up to a well-filled full-time position. I wish Nanette the best of luck as she turns her attention full-time to her advertising agency partnership. And I welcome Matt aboard and invite all of you readers to enjoy his mark upon the magazine.

We've had some interesting visitors at the Reason Foundation in recent weeks. Over Memorial Day weekend we held a Liberty Fund colloquium on the justification for a system of private property rights. Among our notable guests that weekend were philosopher Robert Nozick and economists Israel Kirzner and David Friedman. Interestingly, there turned out to be about as many thoughts about ways to justify property rights as there were participants!

In June we were visited by a political scientist from Krakow, Poland…that's right, Poland. Dr. Rett R. Ludwikowski was on a cross-country tour meeting libertarian and conservative thinkers. Our resident scholar Tibor Machan spent a fascinating two hours with Dr. Ludwikowski, learning that there is great interest in free-market ideas among Polish intellectuals. Indeed, he told of supervising a doctoral dissertation last year dealing almost exclusively with American libertarian thinkers—Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, John Hospers, etc. It's encouraging to learn that such ideas have indeed penetrated into Eastern Europe.

REASON's exposé of the truth about Love Canal (Feb.) has been placed in the Congressional Record by Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), who commented that "the public is entitled to complete objectivity in reviewing the facts of Love Canal." Many of you have written to congratulate us on the ABC Nightline program about this article, which finally aired late in May. Meanwhile, a point not addressed in the article—the actual harm caused by the leaking chemicals—has received new attention. A study by seven researchers from the New York State Department of Health investigated cancer incidence in the Love Canal area from 1955 to 1977 compared with that in the rest of New York state. The result? No significant differences. See Science, June 19, p. 1404.

International understanding of the free market should be increasing. The US International Communications Agency is reprinting William Middendorf's "A Walk on the Supply Side" from our July issue for distribution overseas, both in English and in translation. And our friend Albert Zlabinger of Jacksonville University reports that the International Karl Menger Library series (of which he is coeditor), will have 10 German-language books in print by the end of the year, including two by Ludwig von Mises, four by F. A. Hayek, and Thomas Sowell's Knowledge and Decisions. Their PRO/Kontra series expects to have seven other free market/libertarian volumes out in German soon, including works by Petr Beckmann, David Friedman, and George Riesman.

Joe Cobb's article this month (p. 34) on an alternative gold standard has deep roots. The idea that sound money based on gold could be established without government fixing the price of gold appeared in these pages in July 1973—by none other than Joe Cobb, the author of the present article.

What are poor women going to do if those who oppose abortion succeed in cutting off all taxpayer funding for the procedure? Some 350,000 Medicaid-eligible women faced that dilemma last year, due to a 1980 Supreme Court ruling upholding the Hyde Amendment. Instead of simply lobbying about it, a group of supporters of the right to abortion have organized the Abortion Fund (1801 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006). It started up June 1 and hopes to be operational nationwide by November. The idea is to raise money that will be used to replace Medicaid funding. Women aided by the fund will be asked to pay $25 of the abortion's cost, and the clinic will be asked to donate 20 percent, with the fund paying the balance.