… is from page 39 of Steven Landsburg’s superb 2019 volume, The Essential Milton Friedman :
Most economic activity requires coordinating the activity of vast num- bers of people. New Yorkers have bread on their tables thanks to the coordinated activity of farmers, bakers, truckers, the producers of fertilizers, pesticides, and tractors, the mechanics who maintain the tractors and the delivery trucks, and literally thousands of others. There are only two ways to organize that activity: Through the anonymous market place, where individuals respond to price signals (so that an increase in the demand for bread leads ultimately to an increase in demand for tractor maintenance, leading mechanics to voluntarily work overtime), or through top-down direction – in other words, coercion. In the latter case, we are all subject to the whims and the prejudices of the directors. That leaves the market as the only economic system conducive to freedom.
Watch here Russ Roberts’s wonderful “It’s a Wonderful Loaf .”