Laissez Faire Essay

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Laissez Faire The phrase laissez faire emerged in the late seventeenth century when French finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert asked merchants how the French state could be of service to merchants and promote their commerce, in which the merchant LeGendre responded “laissez-nous faire,” meaning ‘leave it be.’ The maxim has since become a slogan for a free market economy and restriction on government intervention, indicating a doctrine which promotes the pursuit of self-interest resulting in greater productivity and an improvement of the general well-being of society. Laissez faire promotes a system in which unrestricted market forces ] balance and yield appropriate solutions to economic issues, wherein the role of the government is confined to that of protecting the individual’s right and natural liberty to freely pursue his or her own interest. However, economists have also argued that societies cannot operate purely on free markets, and need to incorporate moderate government intervention. Laissez faire emerged in the eighteenth century as a result of political philosophers promoting the “Individual to depose the Monarch and the Church” as well as governmental incompetence leading the “practical man [to] favor laissez-faire.” The intersection between “private interest and public advantage” eventually gave way to a system that emphasized natural forces to determine economic equilibrium. This economic system relied on the theory that individuals pursuing their own interests, due to natural laws, would be able to serve the general interest simultaneously. In his book “The End of Laissez Faire: The Economic Consequences of the Peace,” Keynes attributes laissez faire to two principles. He states that the “twin buttresses” of laissez faire is that (1) “uninterrupted natural selection leads to progress,” and that (2) the immense incentive that comes
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