Monday, July 4, 2011

The Obligatory July 4th Post: The Making of a Pencil

I plan on doing very little writing on this, as it has already been done. Leonard Reed was the founder and president of the Foundation for Economic Education, and in 1958, published an essay entitled "I, Pencil," which is truly remarkable. It follows along the lines of the Jeep commercial I used in my Thanksgiving blog. As we drove to our daily chores this week, we passed by make shift tents selling fireworks. That along with the grocery store sales and the grills offered at Lowe's and other things, the Independence Day holiday is a prime example of the best thing about our country, the Free Market system. Capitalism isn't perfect. It has its flaws, Its corrupt users of the system who fill their pockets while emptying others, but in its purest form, that which is shown in Leonard Reed's essay, in the making of a pencil, it gives me a hope that mankind can live and abide by the rules of democracy and the free market. That each individual builds a part of this great country of ours, from the giant nuclear reactors, to the databases storing the data in this blog, to the pencils that 1st graders use to fill in their standardized tests. We all are a part of the system which creates the world we live in, and by that, this world forms and shapes our lives. I am proud to be a part of that system, even if it is just selling books. But those books might just help future creators of such miracles as are seen in science-fiction novels, just as the things today were put together by millions of individuals to form cell phones, computers, cars...etc...

For instance, take the tallest skyscraper in Atlanta, the Peachtree Tower. My dad was responsible for designing the sprinkler systems that keep the structure safe from fire. But he was just one of hundreds of people responsible for constructing that building. Likewise, the metal pipes stretching throughout the Oklahoma City Botanical Gardens were designed, by hand, by my father. We took a tour of the underside of the structure before it opened so we could see the fruits of his labor. By the time the Peachtree Tower was made, my dad had become one of the countries best sprinkler designers on the newly made AutoCad system.

So... here is this essay, written by Leonard Reed. I will include the link, here, to the original essay, but I find it much easier to listen to. It was read, in its entirety, by Mark Levin, talk show host and conservative author of Liberty and Tyranny.  Members of both ideological persuasions will enjoy the essay, while conservatives will love the comparisons Levin makes to President Obama in his editorial afterwards.  To me, it is all wonderful stuff.  Just what I wanted to hear coming home from work on a 4th of July

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