About a year ago, Pew Research asked people around the globe whether they thought life in their country was better or worse than it was 50 years ago.
Look to your right and down to see how Americans stack up. There we are, in a sad little grouping of countries, with just 37 percent of us feeling better about the current day than a time when major political figures were being gunned down in the streets, massive race riots convulsed cities that were already hitting the shitter, about 500,000 men were serving overseas involuntarily, and racism and sexism were overt and acceptable. FFS, in 1968, George Wallace won five states and 14 percent of the popular vote on a segregationist platform in a year that saw MLK and RFK get shot and riots erupt everywhere (including the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, the streets of Paris's Left Bank, and the Olympic Games in Mexico City)!
At Reason, we tend to believe that things are always getting better. Not that all things are always getting better all the time, but as a country and a planet, we're generally moving in the right direction. There's a heap of trouble in the world, but you look back a half-century and the things that immediately pop out are the end of Soviet Union and the last vestiges of 19th-century colonialism, the shrinking of the number of people living in what the United Nations considers extreme poverty, the relative lack of major shooting wars, the rise of global trade and movement of people, and the rise to near-equality of women.
As it happens, Reason is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, in Los Angeles on Saturday, November 3. This is a time where we are calling in all the ships at sea to have a blowout, day-long, day-glo celebration of what's gotten better during the last half-century. After cranking out issue after issue since 1968, developing Reason.com into the largest source of news, politics, culture, and ideas from a libertarian perspective, and building out Reason TV to be the premier libertarian video and podcast platform online, we're going to a day off to mix with our tribe of gentle, lovely, beautiful, fun freak-flag-flyers. Please join us!
The day's events include a morning of panels and conversations packed with past, present, and future Reason luminaries, including Robert W. Poole, Virginia Postrel, Adrian Moore, Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch, Katherine Mangu-Ward, and more; lunch with broadcasting legend John Stossel; and a gala dinner hosted by Fox Business star Kennedy and featuring former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Nobel Prize-winning economist Vernon Smith.
And the program is still being hashed out, with plenty of very great surprises yet to drop.
Go here for ticket prices and sponsorship opportunities (the latter includes an invite to a special Friday night dinner at L.A.'s incredible Bavel). Prices increase after September 15, so it pays to book early if you're coming from out of town. The day's events are at the Ritz-Carlton, but there are plenty of other hotels in the area, too.
The only thing that will make this great day better is your presence! Thanks for the support you've shown to Reason in our first 50 years. We can only say with cautious confidence that the next 50 years are really going to be awesome.