I, Pencil’s power at 50

Thanks to Peter Gordon for reminding me this past week is the 50th anniversary of I, Pencil. I talk abou this when I teach high school classes and it never ceases to boggle the kids minds. And make them think with wonder about the power of markets. ‘Ol I, Pencil should be passed around Congress and Obama’s team as they think about the auto bailout, “stimulus,” and other interventions in the market. It’s all the many embedded things in the places they are going to much about that will be adversly effected. The far flung transactions and production of inputs that will be distrorted. And most of the negative effects, however large, will be hidden from view, indirect. And thus, perfect for poltiicians.