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.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved

laissez-faire

Of, relating to, or being an economy devoid of government interference.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.

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.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Therefore, new imagery is necessary to substantiate laissez-faire economics and quell many of the typical criticisms of this theory.
His failure to define exactly what he means by "laissez-faire economics" or to pursue the underlying free-market implications of the ideology he traces is particularly troublesome.
As David Leonhardt wrote recently in The New York Times Magazine, "Compared with many other Democrats, Obama simply is more comfortable with the apparent successes of laissez-faire economics."
Despite the rise of politicians with Marxist beliefs, Mr Jones believes, 'Laissez-faire economics is here to stay.
What the European left hates about the "right nation"--religiosity, laissez-faire economics, the gun culture, foreign policy unilateralism--am precisely the features that make the United States "American," according to these two British writers.
The values of the Old Regime were not eclipsed by the Industrial Revolution, nor did political economists and the proponents of laissez-faire economics go unchallenged.
Lynch and Reason Public Policy Institute Executive Director Adrian Moore explain in "Power Tripped" (see page 32) how early accounts of the electricity "deregulation" cast the situation as yet one more example of the folly of laissez-faire economics. "Capitalism is falling apart," crowed left-wing Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Scheer late last year, barely suppressing his glee.
There is thus a tension within conservative ideology between laissez-faire economics and family values.
This ad hoc treatment of empirical evidence will not trouble those predisposed to agree with Sowell's blend of social conservative and laissez-faire economics ideology.
From an agricultural state, Dole has always been eager to prop up home-grown products, backing food stamps and farm price supports in defiance of laissez-faire economics. He has also brought home his share of outright pork.
Roth, a consultant who has worked in the corporate world and taught management theory, reviews management theories like Six Sigma, downsizing, competition, performance appraisals, quality improvement and Baldrige criteria, and management by objective and their problems, and offers alternatives to enable a more positive work culture, such as the systems approach to quality improvement, creating more productive executives, designing more profitable businesses, improving workplace ethics, emphasizing a development ethic over a work ethic, better training, improving safety, focusing unions on wider issues, and updating the concept of laissez-faire economics. ([umlaut] Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR)
Under the various banners of colonialism, social Darwinism, manifest destiny, Christianizing of heathens and laissez-faire economics, the past hundred years has been witness to the systematic exploitation of the Third World by often greedy and ruthless entrepreneurs from Europe and the United States.