By Julian Hassan
A free society flourishes by spreading around knowledge. This sounds complicated, but it isn’t. It’s a natural, human thing we do when shackling barriers to social cooperation are eliminated.
Prices convey knowledge. They represent countless bits of information, such as whether a typhoon in Asia that interrupted crops is behind a price rise for toothpaste in Milwaukee. The Foundation for Economic Education teaches this message by providing students with free copies of the libertarian primer I, Pencil:
Leonard Read’s delightful story, “I, Pencil,” has become a classic, and deservedly so. I know of no other piece of literature that so succinctly, persuasively, and effectively illustrates the meaning of both Adam Smith’s invisible hand—the possibility of cooperation without coercion—and Friedrich Hayek’s emphasis on the importance of dispersed knowledge and the role of the price system in communicating information that “will make the individuals do the desirable things without anyone having to tell them what to do.”
So whether or not you’re a coffee drinker, we have some exciting news to share in the spirit of liberty. This morning, McDonalds started giving away free coffee with breakfast, which you can ask for every morning through September 29th.