REASON's very first investigative article—"Who's Bankrolling the UFW?" by Patty Newman—is still having repercussions. The latest occurred in November when two federal agencies demanded the immediate return of more than $600,000 in federal grant funds that Cesar Chavez's United Farmworkers Union is accused of misappropriating. A Chicago Tribune story reports that it was REASON's November 1979 exposé that first revealed that one of the grants was being used to build a microwave communications system to serve the union and another was being used to pay the salaries of union headquarters workers. And at a Justice Department hearing on the case in San Francisco in November, the REASON article was entered into the record as the original source of the complaints leading to the federal investigation of Chavez.
In another investigative follow-up, inventor Donald Selwyn of the National Institute of Rehabilitation Engineering (NIRE) has reached an out-of-court settlement with the state of New Jersey (see "Handicapping an Innovator," Aug. 1981). Selwyn and NIRE admitted no past wrongdoing, and none of their aids to the handicapped will be withdrawn from the market. But NIRE has agreed to repay $5,075 to five complaining clients and to refrain from making certain claims about the products in the future. NIRE also agreed to use a licensed optometrist or physician in conducting eye examinations.
Alternatives to regulation are receiving new visibility thanks to the Reason Foundation's Instead of Regulation. On November 18 the Wall Street Journal editorial page carried a piece by Susan Lee entitled "Privatization: Nobody Does It Better." The article discussed the advantages of turning federal government services over to the private sector and focused specifically on the proposal for privatization of air traffic control in Instead of Regulation. On the same day, the Journal's letters column carried my letter commending the paper's editorial on the FDA's long delays in approving potentially life-saving drugs. The letter also mentioned that a detailed alternative to centralized FDA regulation is spelled out in David Weimer's chapter in Instead of Regulation. And the October 26 issue of US Chamber News carried a long review in praise of the book by syndicated columnist Jeffrey St. John.
College students and young faculty members are invited by the Mont Pelerin Society to submit 5,000-word essays on the subject "The Virtues of a Free Economy." Prizes are Garvey Fellowships of cash plus travel grants to participate in the 1982 West Berlin meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society, the international organization of scholars and authors interested in a free society. Entrants cannot be members of the Society. For further information write: The Mont Pelerin Society, P.O. Box 7031, Alexandria, VA 22307.
Tibor R. Machan has returned to the Reason Foundation after a semester's leave to teach philosophy at the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Fredonia, where he was a faculty member before joining the Reason Foundation in 1978. As of January 1, Tibor assumes a new position as the Foundation's first Senior Fellow. Incidentally, among his many recent writings is the section on human rights in the new Academic American encyclopedia.
One of our contributing editors also has a new position upcoming. The Monist, a highly respected journal of general philosophical inquiry, has announced that its next editor will be our own John Hospers, who is also professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California (USC). Dr. Hospers will be succeeding Eugene Freeman upon the latter's retirement in 1983.
As usual, I'm keeping up a busy schedule of speaking and writing. In December I chaired a panel discussion on "Market Alternatives to Regulation and Public Services" at the Heritage Foundation's Resource Bank Western Regional Meeting. Besides my own talk on privatization, panelists included M. Bruce Johnson (housing and land use), Thomas Gale Moore (transportation), and John C. Goodman (social security and health care)—all three of them REASON contributors. Last summer I was interviewed by the Brazilian newsweekly Visão (the equivalent of Time or Newsweek) on the topic of privatization of local public services. That interview appeared in the magazine's November 16 issue.