I'm pleased to announce several additions to the ranks of REASON people. First of all, distinguished economist Walter Williams has joined the Reason Foundation's Board of Advisors. On the faculty at George Mason University near Washington, Dr. Williams also writes a nationally syndicated column. Popular author Tom Bethell makes his debut this month as a regular Viewpoint columnist, replacing Alan Reynolds (whose new position at Polyconomics, Inc., has proven quite time-consuming). Bethell is Washington editor of Harper's and was recently awarded the DeWitt Wallace Chair in Communications in a Free Society at the American Enterprise Institute. Also joining the ranks of contributing editors is Joe Cobb, director of economic analysis at the Council for a Competitive Economy and a long-time REASON contributor. Finally, to give better recognition for the work she's actually been doing, we have given Marty Zupan the new title of managing editor.
Our pathbreaking book on deregulation will make its debut October 21 at a Capitol Hill briefing. Already the endorsements are coming in from those who have seen the page proofs. "This book is a sure-fire antidote to regulatory fever—authoritative, lucid, crammed with both evidence and attractive alternatives," says Nobel laureate Milton Friedman. "Instead of Regulation is the most thorough debunking of government regulation yet assembled between two covers," adds former Treasury Secretary William E. Simon. Presidential domestic policy chief Martin Anderson calls it "a thought-provoking book that is bound to have an impact on future public policy." I'm convinced that we have put together here the definitive work on deregulation. As supply-side economist Arthur Laffer puts it, "Instead of Regulation sets out the agenda for deregulation in the 1980s."
Advance copies of several of the chapters are already circulating in Washington, and one—Peter Aranson's chapter on the Environmental Protection Agency—is available as a monograph from the Emory University Law and Economics Center. The entire volume will be available from the Reason Foundation in November at the publisher's price of $25.95 (California residents please add six percent sales tax).
REASON's circulation is still on the upswing. With this issue it passes the 25,000 mark (and is still climbing). Since our pass-along rate is between two and three, that gives us a monthly readership of between 50,000 and 75,000.
REASON stories continue to have an impact. Our exposé of NASA's end-run around Congress on their Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program (Aug.) caught the eye of Sen. William Proxmire (D-Wisc.), who had awarded the whole thing a Golden Fleece in 1979. "It is hard enough to find intelligent life right here in Washington," exclaimed Proxmire in the Senate during debate on the new federal budget. He introduced an amendment to prevent the use of NASA funds for SETI, and the amendment was approved by the Senate.
Our August cover story on the private streets of St. Louis continues to receive notice. John Chamberlain devoted a syndicated column to it in August, lauding the "St. Louis Solution" and pointing out White House interest in the idea. Story editor Marty Zupan and author Ted Gage were interviewed by CKWX radio in Vancouver, and the Sacramento Bee printed a condensed version in its Sunday Forum on August 16.
Meanwhile, REASON people have been quite visible. Eric Zuesse, author of "Love Canal: The Truth Seeps Out," delivered the keynote address at a two-day media conference sponsored by the Institute for Toxic Waste Management at Tufts University on August 30. Money columnist Steve Beckner had an op-ed piece titled "Hong Kong's Success" in the Sunday New York Times on August 2. Two weeks later, my own op-ed piece, "Maybe It's Time to Dismiss the FAA," appeared on that same page. The article, urging privatization of air traffic control, led to a 10-minute interview with Noah Adams on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and to a half-hour talk-show appearance on Seattle radio station KUI on August 20. Finally, Senior Editor Tibor Machan's article, "Our Black-and-White View of Latin America," graced the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal on August 26. Who says summer is for lolling at the beach?!