This post contains a video called “I, Pencil”. The video shows how the world that we live has evolved into the amazing place it is due to all of us working towards our own self interest. By working for our own self interest, we have created an incredible world where we all get to choose our wants and needs. The private markets and the companies that operate in them capture the human intelligence and physical labor along with invested capital and technology to produce an ever improving world.
The private sector consistently makes value judgments to where best to allocate resources to best serve themselves and their owners by servicing the needs of their customers.
These market forces result not from a central decision-making process but by the “invisible hand” that has produced this miraculous world which continues to improve the lives of millions each day. In the near future this invisible hand will bring medical breakouts and self driving cars to name just a few.
Think how overwhelmed humans of just 100 years ago would be if they live in today’s world with the incredible availability of items from all areas of the world. Our living conditions have never been better.
Click on this 6 minute video below to learn about the making of a simple ordinary familiar pencil. It demonstrates what resources are necessary to create this simple instrument and how individuals around the world benefit for themselves without necessarily caring about this consumer product.
It is based on Leonard Read’s classic 1958 essay “I, Pencil” to explain Adam Smith’s contribution regarding the invisible hand of the free market. It will help explain the concept to children as well.
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