Editor's Notes


– Long-time REASON readers will notice that this year's annual book issue is "new and improved." Instead of devoting the issue exclusively to book reviews, we've decided not to leave you without your monthly dose of articles. They're fewer in number, however, so as to leave room for an expanded book section (it begins on p. 47). With calls for return to a full-fledged draft mounting, and Congress about to decide on whether to renew the authority of the Selective Service to continue draft registration, we didn't want to miss the opportunity to bring you a solid discussion of how the All Volunteer Force can be improved (see p. 34). In the book section, we're especially pleased to present the review by Nobel economist F.A. Hayek of a pathbreaking book by Thomas Sowell (p. 47), highly visible of late in newspaper columns and television appearances. Happy reading!

– Accolades for the Reason Foundation's new book, Instead of Regulation, continue to come in. Sen. Paul Laxalt (R-Nev.) calls the book "most welcome." It provides, he says, "thoughtful insight on some major problems facing us today and offers a refreshing perspective to those weary of government-conceived, government-funded, government-perpetuating solutions." Laxalt sent out a "dear colleague" letter inviting fellow senators to attend our October 21 Capitol Hill briefing on the book. A similar letter was sent out to House members by Rep. Thomas Kindness (R-Ohio) whose subcommittee is dealing with regulatory reform. Kindness calls the book "a thought-provoking work of central value to everyone concerned with the future role of government in our nation."

In addition to directing the briefing, I also spoke about the book at the Council for a Competitive Economy's (CCE) National Conference on Economic Freedom on October 23. Two of Instead of Regulation's other contributors, George Benston (securities regulation) and Ida Walters (communications regulation) took part in panels at the conference. Meanwhile, CCE called for privatization of the air traffic control system, based on my discussion of the idea in Instead of Regulation. The organization has reprinted an excerpt from chapter 7 of the book, titled "The FAA: Is There a Better Way to Fly?"

That same week in Washington I took part in a conference on user charges, jointly sponsored by the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, the Association of American Railroads, the Environmental Policy Center, and the Heritage Foundation. In a session on transportation issues, I gave a paper on privatization of the airways. The following week I was the guest at a luncheon at New York's Lehrman Institute, where I gave yet another briefing on Instead of Regulation.

– As of October 1 and the start of the new fiscal year, reported the Los Angeles Times, NASA will no longer be searching the skies for radio signals from any intelligent civilizations elsewhere in the universe, since the new Reagan budget explicitly cut off funding for this controversial project. In our August issue, science writer Bob Scheaffer had revealed how NASA was continuing the SETI program, even though Congress had nixed it in 1978, by burying it in the budget for NASA's Life Sciences appropriation.

– The most recent addition to our articles available as reprints is called "Supply-Side Economics: A Practical Guide"; it is a combined package of the articles by J. William Middendorf and Bruce Bartlett from our July issue. Also available are: "Love Canal: The Truth Seeps Out," by Eric Zuesse, and "Low- Profile Tax Resistance," by David Bergland. Sold out, but available in xerox form, are "Socialism…On the Street Where You Live," by Paul Ciotti, and "Who's Bankrolling the UFW?" by Patty Newman. The reprints are $1.00 each, postage paid.

– Grass-roots support for monetary freedom is the aim of the US Choice in Currency Commission, organized by Jim Blanchard and Joe Cobb as a kind of "shadow" counterpart to the US Gold Commission. I've accepted an invitation to serve on the board of directors, along with Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), Lewis Lehrman, Conrad Braun, Elizabeth Currier, Mark Frazier, Blanchard, and Cobb. The commission has reprinted Cobb's September REASON article, "Going for Solid Gold."