I, Pencil

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.

Scott Bradford has been putting his opinions on his website since 1995—before most people knew what a website was. He has been a professional web developer in the public- and private-sector for over twenty years. He is an independent constitutional conservative who believes in human rights and limited government, and a Catholic Christian whose beliefs are summarized in the Nicene Creed. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University. He loves Pink Floyd and can play the bass guitar . . . sort-of. He’s a husband, pet lover, amateur radio operator, and classic AMC/Jeep enthusiast.