In an interview I recently came across (audio here), the author of “Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem”, Jay Wesley Richards, mentioned a relatively short article titled I, Pencil.
After tracking down the 1958 article by Economist Leonard Reed, hosted in full here at the Foundation for Economic Education, I discovered it indeed did offer one of the most elegant and simplest refutations of centralized economic planning ever written. What’s more, it is almost in a form I can read to my children to teach.
So take a minute and read the relatively short article. It is well worth it. And when you are done, here is an excellent How It’s Made video that helps illustrate the simple point Leonard made over 50 years ago.