Celebrate Leonard Read’s birthday: Read ‘I, Pencil’

Victor Joecks

And who is Leonard Read?

A free-market economist born on this day in 1898, who wrote “I, Pencil” – one of the best, yet shortest, explanations of the power of the marketplace’s “invisible hand.”

While “I, Pencil” is only eight pages long, this simple story shows the lunacy of believing that government planners can coordinate the production of a pencil – let alone health care or an entire economy – as well and efficiently as thousands of individuals working in pursuit of their own self-interest. And most of these people don’t care about the pencil at all!

I, Pencil” is available for free here. There’s even a free audio book version!

If you are a parent or a teacher, read “I, Pencil” and then make sure your kids read it. It’s that good.

(h/t Foundation for Economic Education)