Economist Russ Roberts has produced a charming new video, “It’s a Wonderful Loaf”,that reveals the “hidden harmony that is all around us.” In the animated poem, Roberts looks at the “seemingly magical ways” that we anticipate and meet the needs of each other without anyone being in charge.
While the poem is helpful in seeing the hidden order in markets, it’s missing a key explanation. Roberts claims this order is not designed but just “emerges” by the actions of humans:
Order’s everywhere. Yet we humans too create it
It emerges. No one intends it. No one has to orchestrate it.
It’s the product of our actions but no single mind’s designed it
That’s partially correct—it wasn’t designed by humans. Humans may set individual prices but it was God who designed the price system as a means of coordinating human activity for the purposes of human flourishing.
God knows and cares about what may seem like trivial issues (such as whether you can obtain bread) and has provided a way for our neighbors to help meet those needs.