MJF 023 The 60th Anniversary of “I, Pencil”: by Leonard Read


by Michael Flight



Ipencil 1

The Best Explanation for Free Markets and why Socialism Never Works

I, Pencil: The Movie

Sixty years ago the short story ‘I, Pencil was written by Leonard Read and published in December 1958.  This short, eloquent masterpiece is one of the greatest explanations of the free market ever written.  It demonstrates how no single person alone can make a pencil; yet you can buy a ‘Number 2 Yellow Pencil’ for 8¢ because people from all over the world contributed their ingenuity and labor to get it to you.

When you break down the manufacture of a simple little pencil to all its constituent parts and every bit of input from wood, to saws, to trucks, sourced from all over the world to quote Read “what you see is the market at work.”  The entire essay is a brilliant explanation of the phrase “the invisible hand”  used by Adam Smith to describe free market forces in his book ‘The Wealth of Nations.

Leonard Read’s main point in ‘I, Pencil’ is that economies are way too complex to be “planned” when not one single person possesses all the knowledge and skills to produce a seemingly simple, ordinary, everyday pencil. Leonard Read also shows how much worldwide cooperation is required to you make a simple little writing instrument.  And like all great ideas, other people have used other common items to replicate and demonstrate what Leonard Read so eloquently summarized. You can see the same idea in this video series on making a sandwich:

How to Make Everything: Sandwich

Mr. Reid was waging a battle for the minds of people living in the United States in the 1950s. Then, like now, people were warming to the idea of socialism. Socialism and Communism assert that things would be much better if a few really smart people in the government were to run everything.  Socialism / Communism has never, ever worked.  Where ever it has been tried financial misery, slavery and lots of killing follows in its wake.  Look at the misery in Venezuela for its most recent iteration.

The free market, with billions of individuals making their own financial decisions has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. And while not perfect, the free market has allowed billions of people to live peaceful, purpose filled lives.  ‘I, Pencil’ Leonard E. Read (1898–1983) established the Foundation for Economic Education in 1946 and served as its president for 37 years.

You can get your own pdf of ‘I, Pencil’ here:


or mp3 here:

Concordia Realty is proud to support FEE.org and the excellent work they do educating young and old alike about the merits of living in a free society and the need to understand sound economics.

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About the Author

Michael J Flight Real Estate Entrepreneur Security Token Evangelist Home Image Hero

Let your investment dreams take flight with the expert help of Michael Flight, principal investor at Concordia Realty.

Michael has worked for more than 28 years and handled more than $500 million worth of real estate transactions on behalf of his clients at Concordia Realty. Michael began his business in the realm of retail real estate, with Concordia Realty now handling third-party property and asset management services for a variety of commercial real estate investments.

He also specializes in revitalizing distressed investments for partners, adding value for clients … including banks, insurance companies, and hedge funds. Michael has consulted for some of the top investment and development companies in the world … and now his knowledge is available to YOU.

Are you searching for someone who can maximize the full potential of your property? Not only do Michael and his team at Concordia specialize in intensive hands-on property management, but they also bring the right relationships with attorneys, consultants, and contractors to the table.

With extensive experience in development, leasing, sales, property management, and innovative financing techniques, Michael and his trained team have the ability to make your property into the cash cow you know it can be.

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Concordia Realty Corporation and Michael J. Flight and their affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction or undertaking. Concordia Realty Corporation and Michael J. Flight highly encourage individuals and investors to seek the counsel of a qualified attorney as well as seek the counsel of a tax professional or Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to determine if there are any potential tax liabilities or consequences as the result of anything contained herein. NO GUARANTEE: All users of this website should understand there are NO GUARANTEES of any success, outcome or profitability of any transaction or undertaking, expressed or implied by Concordia Realty Corporation and Michael J. Flight or any of its members, shareholders, officers or affiliates and will NOT be liable for any financial or other losses or damages incurred as a result of any undertaking. Go HERE to view complete DISCLOSURES.