Capitalism Makes Miracles; Socialism Makes Dust

G.K. Chesterton once observed that "we are perishing for a want of wonder, but not for a want of wonders." It is a simple and profound observation of the human condition.  I first read this sentence in Leonard E. Read's brilliant essay, "I, Pencil," which provides an essential and fascinating defense of a free market by breaking down the logistical marvels required to bring into existence the simplest of things.  (Milton Friedman provides a good summation in this short video.) There was a time when I had never considered all of what goes into the production of what is now an 8-cent pencil.  How many industrial miracles occur as a means to produce that simple pencil?  How many individuals are employed, in entirely separate industries, subsisting on mining the ore and extracting the metals used to produce the machinery that harvests the timber, later sawn to appropriate sizes by equally complex...(Read Full Article)
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