I, Pencil

This recent piece, Inside One of America’s Last Pencil Factories, made me remember “I, Pencil” which is 50 years old in 2018. It’s free market message could be framed as capitalist or socialist (freed market anti-capitalism), until of course you see that Milton Friedman wrote the afterword for “I, Pencil.” In the case of General Pencil and the the Times story, it is a story of a “family owned” business, not a business owned by members of families that work there, so perhaps in relation to “I, Pencil” it’s a capitalist, or human rental, story. Just what “family owned” means I am not aware of in the case of General Pencil, but it has a plantation-like connotation. I am doubting that it means it is a worker owned cooperative (or worker directed enterprise). Regardless, the images are great, and so is the “I, Pencil” essay…but both would be so much better if they reflected a reality or framing that is anti-capitalist and anti-human rental.

This is worth a look as well: The Pencil, a short documentary

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