Laissez-faire economics - Definition

The Laissez-faire style of economics means less government regulation and fewer artificial controls of production, buying, selling, trading, and financing. The laissez-faire style of economics clearly promotes the free market. Limited government intrusion is the foundation of such a system, although the concept is less absolute than it once was.

According to historical legend, the phrase stems from a meeting in about 1680 between the powerful French finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert and a group of French businessmen led by a certain M. Le Gendre. The Laissez-faire model of economics is embraced by a wide variety of people across the political spectrum. At the same time, it is rejected by those who feel more government regulation is necessary, even if they see regulation as a necessary evil. During the Han, Tang, Song, and Ming dynasties, Chinese scholar-officials would often debate about the interference the government should have in the economy, such as setting monopolies in lucrative industries and instating price controls.

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