An Easy Way to Teach Kids About Free Enterprise

Published October 26, 2016

As an educator and a patriot, my good friend and mentor, Elizabeth A. Clarke, wanted to make sure that upon her death in June of this year young people would carry on her fight for freedom and liberty, which Elizabeth continued up until the day before her death.  Elizabeth was displeased that so few young people were interested in writing Letters to the Editor or becoming involved in the political process.

Elizabeth was a story teller, at which time her eye would sparkle with delight and her voice would be filled with strength and conviction as she related stories she never grew tired of telling.  Many of Elizabeth’s stories were designed around teaching moments, as was a story related often by Elizabeth during the last few weeks of her life to all who entered her room to provide medical services or otherwise.  She would later tell me of these encounters, which were a source of pleasure for the both of us.

The story referred to is Elizabeth’s simplified version of “The Bread Machine.”

As Elizabeth informed me, her version was ideal for teaching young children how the Free Enterprise System works and what happens in a society when economic freedom is denied and government dictates.

Following is the simplified story Elizabeth related to me and to those she came in contact with:

  • Many years ago lived a King, who wanting to be liked and revered, informed all his subjects there would be free bread for all.
  • The farmer upon hearing the king’s edit, said, “Why should I grow wheat if bread is now free?
  • The miller upon receiving the news, said, “Why should I mill wheat if bread is now free?
  • The cart driver who drove the bread to market, said, Why should I load and cart bread to market if bread is now free?
  • The seller of the bread decided he would hide all bread from the eyes of customers.  When the king’s subjects came in for the bread they were told, “There is no free bread.”  

Elizabeth, upon telling her Incredible Bread Machine tale to medical providers who came to her home, would ask each person if they would still do the same for her without compensation. All responses came back a resounding NO.  

Elizabeth Clarke’s simplified story of “The Bread Machine” is reminiscent of R. W. Grant’s allegorical poem published in 1966, “The Incredible Bread Machine.”  Find the entire text here.  The first three verses of Grant’s poem follow:

“His is a legend of success and plunder
And a man, Tom Smith, who squelched world
hunger. Now, Smith, an inventor, had specialized
In toys. So, people were surprised
When they found that he instead
Of making toys, was BAKING BREAD!

The way to make bread he’d conceived
Cost less than people could believe.
And not just make it! This device
Could, in addition, wrap and slice!

The price per loaf, one loaf or many:
The miniscule sum of under a penny.

Can you imagine what this meant?
Can you comprehend the consequent?
The first time yet the world well fed!
And all because of Tom Smith’s bread. . . .”

About ten years later, in 1976, World Research, Inc. made a delightful film version based on Richard Grant’s provocative poem cited above.  “The Incredible Bread Machine Film” includes an introduction by then-Secretary of the Treasury, William E. Simon, and interviews with professors Walter Heller (University of Minnesota) and Milton Friedman (University of Chicago). Moderated by Dr. Richard Rogge (Wabash College, the film also features a cameo appearance by Murray N. Rothbard. The film was honored at an American film festival, but it should be honored by all free men, free economies, and free societies.  It is a film that should be seen by all high school students.  It is around 55 minutes long.  View the youtube video here.           

The movie was based upon the book, The Incredible Bread Machine, written Susan Love Brown, Karl Keating, David Mellinger, Patrea Post, Stuart Smith, and Catriona Tudor, who in the 1970’s were six young people advocating for a free market. They made their case with simple, cool, and precise reason combined with a bit of youthful humor. The book is available for purchase at Amazon.

Educating young people in the importance of the Free Enterprise System, in contrast to the effects of government regulated economic activity, is blatantly absent today in our schools, which are subject to Common Core’s federally imposed progressive agenda.  

Many Americans seemingly berate the capitalistic free market system which has fed and clothed them far better than citizens of other nations.  It is, however, the free market enterprise system, controlled by the daily decisions of buyers, that can produce the outpouring of goods and services that support a high standard of living.

In that ethical fascism prevails in academia and government today, how long can the non-economic freedoms of speech, religion, press, and personal behavior be preserved in a society that has denied man his economic freedom. 

In speaking about presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, Dr. Scott Lively, President of Defend the Family International, an attorney, pastor, and international human rights consultant, he compares the globalist campaign to destroy Donald Trump and his candidacy to the “Borking” of Robert Bork’s nomination through a massive blitzkrieg of public vilification.  In Robert’s Bork’s situation it was the U.S. Senate who held all the cards.  With Trump it is the people who will be making the final decision.

Lively questions whether we are really going to allow the puppet-masters and the corrupt leftist media manipulate us into letting Hillary Clinton have control of not just the White House, but the Supreme Court, the US military, NATO, and the United Nations?  Are we really going to come this close to overthrowing the GOP establishment, the mainstream media, the European Union interlopers, the demons of the Democratic Party machine, and the iron grip of the globalists and just surrender because (unlike all of us) Donald Trump has moral flaws?

It is important to look at the big picture, remembering that our choice is not really between Trump and Clinton.  It is between freedom, reflected in the Free Enterprise System and slavery, where people become puppets of an oppressive government dictated by globalists and the U.N.