Understanding Spontaneous Order with ‘It’s a Wonderful Loaf’

Russ Roberts is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution with a PhD in ecoonmics from the University of Chicago. He’s also an author, podcaster, novelist and poet, who uses multiple platforms and formats to communicate the ideas of liberty and the insights of economic thinking. 

His latest project is the poem It’s a Wonderful Loaf, and the short animated film that illustrates it (above). Russ takes us through one of the many everyday miracles we see in the complex, modern economy—the existence of a large, diverse, and reliable supply of a product like bread, readily available to people everywhere with no central planner to organize it. In focusing on the counter-intuitive but universal reality of spontaneous order, Loaf recalls the lessons of CEI’s own short film, I, Pencil: The Movie.

Over the last few years, economics teachers and professors across the country have been sharing I, Pencil with their students, and we hope that many of those same students will have the opportunity to study It’s a Wonderful Loaf as well. We know that sound economic thinking combined with an artistic, poetic presentation can reach both the hearts and minds of people across the political spectrum.