This month's cover story, about the revitalization of Miami by Cuban-exile immigrants, has a special meaning for me. I grew up in the Miami area during the 1950s. Like my few Cuban classmates, I cheered the successes of Fidel Castro in revolting against a corrupt dictatorship, and later shared with them the horror of finding out that this hero was actually a Communist.
At summer jobs during my college years, I came to know recently arrived Cuban exiles, nearly all of whom had escaped from Cuba with little more than the shirts on their backs. Even then, 1962–64, I was impressed with their drive and determination. Many Miami residents resented the "invasion" of Cubans, and of course cultural differences are a reality. But no one can deny the tremendous benefits created by the entrepreneurial activities of these people—benefits ably documented by George Gilder in an article adapted from his new book, The Spirit of Enterprise. It's a powerful counterargument to those who see immigrants only as consumers, forgetting about their role as producers. It begins on page 21.
It is with sadness that we report the death, on August 13, of a long-time advocate of freedom, economist Percy L. Greaves, Jr., at age 78. Among his best-known books were Understanding the Dollar Crisis (1973) and Mises Made Easier: A Glossary for Ludwig von Mises' HUMAN ACTION (1974). Greaves contributed an article on the Pearl Harbor controversy to REASON's February 1976 issue. Having served as chief of the minority staff for the Joint Congressional Committee for the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack in 1945–46, Greaves had a particular interest in this subject. Before his death he completed a book on the subject, which his wife, Bettina Bien Greaves, hopes to see through to publication.
We've added Doug Bandow to our roster of contributing editors—and pressed him into service already. His election-issue Viewpoint, "The Choice We Don't Have," appears on page 47.
Doug has a law degree but for the last several years, after a stint as special assistant to President Reagan, has employed his writing talents as the editor of Inquiry magazine. Inquiry, another magazine of ideas and in the same ideas ballpark as REASON, published its last issue in June. The publishers of Inquiry have arranged to have REASON fulfill the remaining terms of readers' subscriptions. We welcome Inquiry subscribers aboard and hope that REASON will help fill the gap left by its demise.
Immigration seems to be one of those really troublesome issues for many people who are generally devoted to liberty. Both a May Trends item on the subject and Joseph Martino's September article, "Two Hands, One Mouth," generated a number of letters from readers. (Some of the recent letters appear on page 8.)
Indicative of the emotion that can surround the issue, one reader (who would not identify himself or herself) wrote in response to the Martino article: "Not only is this stupid, it is evil and dishonest. Why the hell are not Nigeria, Kenya, and a hundred other armpits rich? Their jobs should be right there, to make them rich." The letter writer went on to rage: "Bastards like you should be jailed. My subscription will not be renewed."
Editors always figure they win some and lose some. But we hope most of REASON's readers are at least willing to consider the arguments even on such sensitive subjects.
If you want to send a message to Congress about the alarming rate at which that body is spending your and future taxpayers' money, you can join lots of other Americans who are signing a petition being circulated by Citizens Against Waste. If a petition hasn't reached your office or neighborhood yet, you can contact the new grassroots organization at P.O. Box 1000, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, D.C., 20044. And if you have any doubt about Congress's role in all that spending, check out Peter Samuel's article on page 42 of this issue.
REASON gets around! In the same month that we heard from New Yorkers that "we're seeing REASON all over the newsstands in New York" (September was our debut on East Coast newsstands), a REASON T-shirt showed up on a Newsweek "Newsmaker" (Sept. 17, page 71). We got a big kick out of seeing the magazine's logo on Graham Nash of the rock group Crosby, Stills & Nash.