The Competitive Enterprise Institute has produced an excellent short video called I, Pencil, which is adapted from a 1958 essay by Leonard E. Read. Additional related videos are available at

The video is a succinct illustration of how millions of people are involved, directly or indirectly, in the production of something as simple as a pencil. And this massive effort comes about through the voluntary cooperation of individuals making economic choices, not through the dictation of some central planning office.

It’s well worth six-and-a-half minutes of your time.