Not a single person in the world could make this pencil

Milton Friedman argues, capitalism fosters harmony and peace: “Literally thousands of people cooperated to make this pencil. People who don’t speak the same language, who practice different religions, who might hate one another if they ever met.

“When you go down to the store and buy this pencil, you are in effect, trading a few minutes of your time, for a few seconds of the time of all those thousands of people. What brought them together and induced them to cooperate to make this pencil? There was no commissar sending out officers, sending out orders from some central office.

“It was the magic of the price system. The impersonal operation of prices that brought them together and got them to cooperate to make this pencil so that you could have it for a trifling sum. That is why the operation of the free market is so essential, not only to promote productive efficiency, but even more, to foster harmony and peace among the peoples of the world.”

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