Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The profound power of free markets

In today’s ‘Post’ Terence Corcoran, in an 'editor's note', highlights the classic essay "I, Pencil". Leonard Read’s 1958 essay clearly and simply illustrates the power of free markets to spontaneously bring about the peaceful co-operation of thousands of different people around the world in the course of efficiently producing the humble pencil. All this, Mr. Corcoran reminds us, is in the absence of (or, more likely, in spite of) politicians and government bureaucrats.

Milton Friedman’s abbreviated version of the essay from his television series "Free To Choose" is on this YouTube video.

The "I, Pencil" essay, along with Friedman’s complete television series, should be a mandatory part of every school's curriculum, repeated at every level. Fat chance. Instead, the kids will get "social justice" studies and AlGore's "An Inconvenient Truth".

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