laissez-faire

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Laissez-Faire

A term describing an economic theory that promotes government non-intervention. Laissez-faire theory states that most government interventions make an economy less efficient and hamper growth. According to this, government ought to restrict itself to safeguarding the right to private property. In its extreme form, it is opposed to any law limiting economic activities short of theft or extortion. Laissez-faire economists are philosophically opposed to minimum wages, protectionism, antitrust laws, and most laws intended to benefit workers at the expense of employers. Proponents of laissez-faire economics argue that it benefits employers and workers alike. For example, a man may open a mechanic shop to make money for himself, but, in the process of doing so, he may hire otherwise unemployed mechanics and service otherwise broken cars, which then facilitates business for the rest of the community. If there were environmental or wage restrictions on his business, however, he might not hire as many employees and may not start the mechanic shop at all. Critics of the theory contend that its benefits are overstated and that a laissez-faire structure without regulation lends itself to the creation of bubbles, which harms both businesses and their employees. See also: Reaganomics, Invisible Hand, Keynesian economics, Marxism, Regulation.

laissez-faire

Of, relating to, or being an economy devoid of government interference.

laissez-faire

an economic doctrine that emphasizes the superiority of‘free’ markets (see PRICE SYSTEM) over state regulation of individual markets and of the economy in general. Proponents of laissez-faire argue that a PRIVATE-ENTERPRISE ECONOMY will achieve a more efficient allocation and use of scarce economic resources and greater economic growth than will a CENTRALLY PLANNED ECONOMY where the government owns and directs the use of resources. This inference is based on the rationale that private ownership of resources and maximum freedom to deploy these resources in line with profit signals will create strong incentives to work hard and take risks. State bureaucracies, on the other hand, can tend to stifle enterprise and initiative. See CLASSICAL ECONOMICS, RATIONALIZATION, PRIVATIZATION.
References in periodicals archive ?
Since most white evangelicals benefit from laissez-faire capitalism because of our class location, we are hard pressed to apply an ethical critique to a system by which we benefit in spite of the fact that the values underpinning laissez-faire capitalism tend to be inimical to Christian faith, values such as competition, usury, excessive profit, and exploitation and oppression of the poor.
The focus is thus not on the utopian socialism of Owen but on "the utopics of laissez-faire capitalism" (137) exemplified by Matthew Boulton and Josiah Wedgwood.
If I am right, center-left opponents of the Smithian tradition of global laissez-faire capitalism who reject the various denominations of the Church of Marx can find an alternate genealogy in the submerged tradition of Listian nationalist reform capitalism, in both its American Hamiltonian, German Historical School and Japanese mercantilist versions.
The new food and agriculture measures symbolise a near 180 degree turn for a government that has, since the end of Lebanon's 15 year civil war, strictly steered its economy along a course of free market, laissez-faire capitalism.
In the Third World and Eastern Europe, laissez-faire capitalism opened up local media markets to Western corporate penetration.
Clery means the late eighteenth-century tendency to figure the 'secret hand' of laissez-faire capitalism in the language of 'supernatural' providence, which prompts the central question: 'What can we deduce from the historical coincidence of the expanding taste for commercial fictions of the supernatural and the project of a supernaturalised theory of capitalism?' (p.
As long as Kalecki is regarded as a mere left-wing Keynesian, it is understandable that his views on how a socialist economy should operate, and his clear opposition to market socialism, do indeed appear fragmentary and somewhat eccentric, especially in our time when Eastern European socialism, in which Kalecki lived and worked from 1955 to 1970, appears so signally to have failed to satisfy the aspirations of the working people of that region; when laissez-faire capitalism appears to many to be the only sensible way to run an economy; and when many socialists have reconciled themselves to seeking only to incorporate welfare state provisions in the capitalism in which they live.
Russian-born American writer who, in novels noted for their commercial success, presented her philosophy of objectivism, which held that all real achievement is the product of individual ability and effort, that laissez-faire capitalism is most congenial to the exercise of talent, and that selfishness is a virtue, altruism a vice.
However, she thought that were we committed to facing reality and coping with it by 100 percent dedication to "reason" and 100 percent rejection of mysticism, this would inexorably imply a society dedicated to rational selfishness, the supremacy of individual rights, and prosperous laissez-faire capitalism. To this end she cobbled together a philosophy incorporating bits of Aristotle and Aquinas; Locke, Adam Smith, other Enlightenment thinkers, and the American Founding Fathers; Gilded Age economic history, Nietzsche, and Austrian School economics.
That discovery has been part of the legacy of the American conservation movement." As a historian of the West (author of Dust Bowl), he understands better than most how land has been defiled wherever laissez-faire capitalism was unleashed.
How could he possibly have stood as a foe of laissez-faire capitalism? How could he possibly have privileged women's rights to a greater extent and degree than he did (to a greater extent than practically any other nineteenth-century male)?
Chapter 4 is a showing that Smith was neither "a strict, dogmatic advocate of laissez-faire capitalism" [p.