Free Enterprise System - Mrs. Gilbert's Site

Free Enterprise System - Mrs. Gilbert's Site

Free Enterprise System Democracy and the Free Enterprise System The American commitment to freedom for the individual is deeprooted, and it is as evident in the nations economic system as it is in the political system. The American economic system is often called the free enterprise system. It is an economic system characterized by the private ownership of capital goods; investments made by private decision, not by government directive; and success or failure determined by competition in the marketplace. The free enterprise system is based on four fundamental factors:

private ownership individual initiative profit competition. How the System Works The free enterprise system is often called capitalism. It is also known as the private enterprise system and as a market-based system.

It does not rely on government to decide what items are to be produced, how much of any particular item should be produced, or how much any item is to sell for. Rather, those decisions are made in the marketplace. Millions of producers and consumers obey the unwritten law of supply and demand: When supplies of goods and services become plentiful, prices will tend to drop; when, on the other hand, supplies become scarce, prices will very likely rise. Democracy and the free enterprise system are not the same thing. One is a political system, and the other is an economic system. However, both are firmly based on the concept of individual freedom. Struggles of this System Many Americans believe that society as a whole benefits

through the continuous creation of new businesses, new jobs, and increased wealth when individuals can pursue their own interests and have opportunities to use private property to create jobs and generate income. Yet, this American ideal is not always fulfilled in practice. Historically, racial and gender discrimination have limited opportunities for many Americans to find good jobs or start their own businesses. Growing disparities between the rich and poor have led to occasional calls for a change in the American economic system. Government Involvement

The basis of the American economic system is the free market. However, government does play a role in the American economy, and it always has. Governments participation in the economy serves a two-fold purpose: to protect the public and to preserve private enterprise. Governments participation in the economy can be seen at every level in this country: national, state, and local The nations economic life is promoted in a great number of public ways. The government grants money for transportation systems and the growing of particular food crops, builds roads and operates public schools, provides services such as the postal system and weather reports, and much more.

Involvement cont How much should government participate, regulate, promote, police, and serve? Many heated debates in American politics center on that question, and we are often reminded of Abraham Lincolns advice about the object of government. The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselvesin their separate, and individual capacities. Abraham Lincoln

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