Thursday, May 4, 2017

Wonderful Loaf

A charming animated free-market poem by Russ Roberts, on the invisible hand, at

The "read the poem" link includes much interesting annotation.

Mild critique: I would rather the "planner" be a well-meaning economist faced with impossible information problems than a darkly sinister white guy in a suit. It looks like all we need is better  planners. And the bakers seem really happy about all that competition and free entry, whereas real bakers quickly band together to demand regulation, occupational licensing, and other restrictions. But I'm just whining, it's a good romp through the invisible hand in a mythic war-free and Disney-clean 1940s Europe.


  1. its so beautiful. The animation details are at times more charming than the poem!

  2. Although I’m Japanese, the poem reads peacefully, with beautiful background pictures changing as we scroll downward.

    This is the good reading assignment for newcomers to economics. I studied the invisible hand without thinking much about why it works. But this poem poses many “Why?”s to our mind. I wish I had read this poem before studying the market force of the supply and demand.

    The poem somehow also reminds me of the expanding-variety growth model of Grossman-Helpman...

  3. I enjoyed it. Nice and peaceful and wonderful, like the title says. Reminded me of a friend I made in Warsaw in the 90s. She had just been introduced to bananas and coffee and multiple choices of shoes to buy, never having had access to these under the recently toppled planned from the top economy she had grown up in. It was marvelous and wondrous to her. However, I was glad to see the brief appearance of food stamps to remind us the market system doesn't always wind up with a satisfactory income distribution.

  4. The poem was a nice introduction to the basic questions of economics. With the poem covering basic topics such as the invisible hand. This invisible hand in the poem helped promote the growth of bread production. And how it adapted to the social interests of its consumers without any actual leadership only by the farmers. Then over time it also showed how there was an natural order of the farmers.The overall aspect is a great little presentation from visuals to its verses.


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