Saturday, August 18, 2012

I, pen

This is a excellent pen. Study it closely and note its many features: the polished metal tip, the rubber grip, ergonomic design and hinged clip to prevent breakage. It also effectively dispenses ink on paper. Engineers have obviously devoted considerable thought to the product. Also consider the various materials used in its production: stainless steel for the ballpoint, plastic, rubber and whatever ink is made of, plus the effort that was required to transport these materials to the factory for processing.

But this is only what meets the eye. Watch this video to see the various steps of the pen's production:

In addition to all of the technology used in the pen's production, also remarkable is the obsession with quality control. The pens are laser-scanned to ensure that ink dispenses properly, that the ball and length of each cartridge is correct and that the spring works correctly (up to 100,000 times). After all that, the pen is then shipped thousands of miles across an ocean from China to reach its market. How much does all this cost consumers? About $1.15 per pen

Capitalism is amazing. Perhaps we should spend less time restraining it and more time promoting it. 

Bonus capitalist miracle: Yesterday I bought a banana. I somehow managed to bruise it while carrying it in a grocery bag a mere three blocks from the store to my office, yet that banana was transported safely across thousands of miles, likely from Central America, to arrive at the store in perfectly good condition. That's incredible. 

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