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Fearless Philosophy For Free Minds: Milton Friedman’s Summary Rendition of Leonard E. Read’s “I, Pencil”

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Milton Friedman’s Summary Rendition of Leonard E. Read’s “I, Pencil”


Unlike most Libertarian leaning and capitalist bloggers out there, I failed to mark the passing of the brilliant Milton Friedman with a tribute post (shame on me). I happened to run across this YouTube video of Milton Friedman at Rick Sincere’s blog. In this video, Friedman recites a shortened rendition of Leonard E. Read’s work titled “I, Pencil.” For those of you who are unfamiliar with “I, Pencil” its one of the best explanation of how capitalism works for everyone involved in producing a pencil (for example) because no one person can produce a pencil by himself.

After watching the video, I decided to try to find a text version of “I, Pencil.” The original version I did find is much longer than the summarized version Friedman recites here (but worth the time to read). Immediately following the text of the work, there is a review written by none other than Milton Friedman (which in itself is very worthy of reading).

I also found some other great videos on YouTube about Milton Friedman. Most of the videos posted come from Friedman’s PBS series titled “Free to Choose” (based on the book he wrote by the same title). There is so much good material there but I could never give it the justice it deserves here so I encourage everyone to check it out. In a world headed for socialism, reading and hearing the wisdom Milton Friedman left us is very refreshing and a great reminder of why we must continue to fight the good fight.

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