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 building web sites and using them to say what he thinks since 1995, which tended to get him in trouble with power-tripping assistant principals at the time. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from George Mason University, but has spent most of his career (so far) working on public- and private-sector web sites. He is not a member of any political party, and brands himself an ‘independent constitutional conservative.’ In addition to holding down a day job and blogging about challenging subjects like politics, religion, and technology, Scott is also a devout Catholic, gun-owner, bike rider, and music lover with a wife, two cats, and a dog.