“I, Pencil,” Updated

3 February 2010 at 10:15 pm 2 comments

| Peter Klein |

Like many instructors, I rely on Leonard Read’s classic “I, Pencil” to illustrate the vast network of impersonal, voluntary exchanges that make up the market system. One problem, however, is that many of today’s students have never seen a yellow wooden pencil. Thanks to Ed Lopez, I now have an updated version.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Teaching.

Brad’s Bloviations, Part #2,235 Do Social Scientists Misuse the Term “Natural Experiment”?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rafe Champion  |  4 February 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Yesterday someone casually mentioned something about drawing caricatures of the teacher on their blotter at school. I have seen a few pencils lying around (living with an artist can have that effect) but has anyone seen a blotter lately?
    In case you were afraid to ask http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blotting_paper

  • 2. Michael E. Marotta  |  16 February 2010 at 6:41 am

    In the 1906 dystopia SECRET OF THE LEAGUE by Ernest Bramah and in the 1922 novella THE DRIVER by Garet Garrett (both possible precursors to ATLAS SHRUGGED) the characters have pencils on them as a matter of course. As a collector of financial artifacts, I have a check from that era written in pencil and stock certificates with penciled annotations. Hence, the traditional admonishment to always use ink for important matters.

    However, a couple of years ago, I bought a pencil sharpener for the Dean’s office at the College of Arts and Sciences at Eastern Michigan University. Professors give us “scan-tron” tests but EMU has no pencil sharpeners in the classrooms.

    Not only do I still use pencils, I still have fountain pens. Nothing writes like a Scheafer, except, of course, a Mont Blanc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Nicolai J. Foss | home | posts
Peter G. Klein | home | posts
Richard Langlois | home | posts
Lasse B. Lien | home | posts


Former Guests | posts


Recent Posts



Our Recent Books

Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment: A New Approach to the Firm (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Peter G. Klein and Micheal E. Sykuta, eds., The Elgar Companion to Transaction Cost Economics (Edward Elgar, 2010).
Peter G. Klein, The Capitalist and the Entrepreneur: Essays on Organizations and Markets (Mises Institute, 2010).
Richard N. Langlois, The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: Schumpeter, Chandler, and the New Economy (Routledge, 2007).
Nicolai J. Foss, Strategy, Economic Organization, and the Knowledge Economy: The Coordination of Firms and Resources (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Raghu Garud, Arun Kumaraswamy, and Richard N. Langlois, eds., Managing in the Modular Age: Architectures, Networks and Organizations (Blackwell, 2003).
Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, eds., Entrepreneurship and the Firm: Austrian Perspectives on Economic Organization (Elgar, 2002).
Nicolai J. Foss and Volker Mahnke, eds., Competence, Governance, and Entrepreneurship: Advances in Economic Strategy Research (Oxford, 2000).
Nicolai J. Foss and Paul L. Robertson, eds., Resources, Technology, and Strategy: Explorations in the Resource-based Perspective (Routledge, 2000).

%d bloggers like this: