We've got just two full days left in our 2014 Webathon.
We're looking to raise $200,000 to support our print, online, and video journalism over the coming year. We're published by the 501(c)3 Reason Foundation, so your donations don't just come with fun swag ranging from subscriptions to the dead-tree mag to winter-cap beanies to signed copies of staff-written books, and more: They're also tax deductible. Go here to give!
Your gifts won't just help us produce more award-winning articles, videos, and exposes like Peter Suderman's outing of Chad Henderson, the widely touted first person to successfully sign up during the program's launch, as a fraud); Tracy Oppenheimer's video investigation of an Auburn, Alalbama cop who was fired for refusing to go along with ticket quotas; and Lenore Skenazy's reporting on a working mother who was arrested for letting her daughter play unsupervised (the mother was fired from her job to boot). Your gifts won't just allow us to send videographers and reporters to Ferguson, Missouri to report on breaking news about police-abuse protests and to dispatch people to confront Occupy and global-warming activists in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.
Reason is also working hard to help reach younger people and readers with our optimistic libertarian message of "Free Minds and Free Markets." As Reason's widely discussed summer poll found, millennials are less partisan than older Americans and they are, in the words of Reason's Polling Director Emily Ekins, the "politically unclaimed generation."
Millennials have grown up in a world of relentless government intrusion in every aspect of their lives and an unbroken series of government failures, too: Increasing nanny-state rules governing everything from soda pop to smoking to riding bicycles without helmets; two long and failed wars, bailouts of favored mega-firms, a useless stimulus, and the slowest economic recovery in post-war memory.
As Ekins and I wrote in our cover story for Reason's special issue on millennials, younger Americans aren't
the second coming of Murray Rothbard-style anarchism [and don't embody whole-scale] Reaganesque disdain for government solutions. While millennials clearly prefer free markets to state-managed ones, they are split on whether free markets are better at promoting economic mobility (37 percent) than are government programs (36 percent). Seven in 10 support government guarantees for housing, health care, education, and income for the truly needy. Yet almost as many—65 percent—think overall government spending should be reduced, and 58 percent favor cutting taxes.
Like all generations before them, millennials are trying to figure out what kind of world they want to create and live in. And more than previous generations, they are open to hearing about alternatives to the worn-out right-left, liberal-conservative, Democratic-Republican antinomies that are plainly not working anymore. Raised in the Internet Age, millennials intuitively understand that much power is being decentralized but they also are starved for serious discussions and explications of the sorts of economic, political, and social institutions that will allow for maximum freedom of expression while taking care of the neediest among us. Reason has those answers—or is at least staging that conversation in a way that representatives of the old ways of thinking just can't or won't.
Check out our special landing page devoted to millennials for a sense of what I'm talking about. There you'll find a dozen-plus pieces that reveal a fresh, new way of thinking about things, one that stresses choice over control and the great ways that new technologies and mind-sets are opening up vast possibilities. And as important, we look at the ways in which older, wealthier, more powerful people are trying to maintain a status quo that screws over their own kids' future.
It's precisely Reason's principled messages of social tolerance and fiscal responsiblity that offers a new way of thinking about politics, culture, and ideas. We reject authoritarian politicial correctness while embracing a robust appreciation for and defense of true lifestyle diversity. We lay out policy solutions that will provide for the truly needy and indigent without destroying the economy via endlessly growing handouts for wealthier, older Americans. We embrace a foreign policy that is based on engagment and true national defense rather than endless intervention and meddling. We celebrate hipster capitalists and entrepreneurs without promoting crony capitalism for whomever happens to know the next president, speaker of the House, and Senate majority leader.
Those are among the reasons why libertarianism and Reason appeals to younger Americans. We offer a principled alternative to the demonstrated failures of ideological and political identities that stagger about like zombies, mostly dead but still destructive.
Fully 40 percent of Reason.com's audience is under 35 years old and over 55 percent of Reason TV's YouTube audience is under 35 years old. We're speaking to these people because we respect them and bring a sense of urgency and optimism to our work as well as a sense of humor and epistemological humility to our world view.
Please help us reach even more younger Americans and grow the next generation of libertarians. Your tax-deductible donations will not just help us do more and better journalism. It will help you create a future that is freer, more innovative, more prosperous, and filled with people who understand the value of "Free Minds and Free Markets."