America operates and has operated under a modified free-enterprise economy since our country was established. The term “Laissez-faire” comes from the French for  “let it be” or “leave it alone”, in reference to state intervention in industry. The modification of the “free-enterprise”  refers to state issued restrictions on trade, which obviously contradicts the Laissez-faire principals. Recently, with the current economic recession, the amount of freedom alloted to domestic enterprises has been drawn into question. Many Americans believe the lax in banking regulation and irresponsible capitalism were the largest contributors to the current economic crisis. Very few, if any, politicians believe America should practice Laissez-faire capitalism. The single issue that most directly indicates where ones lies on the fiscal spectrum from Republican to Democratic; the amount of state regulation the government should apply to US industry.

Those arguing for less regulation beleive that regualtion “raises the cost of doing business and reduces job growth” and that increasing tariffs, ” A tax imposed on a product when it is imported into a country”, “reduces the variety of consumer goods while limiting the potential markets of exporters.”

While those in favor of increased government regulation of the finical sector argue, “deregulation, specifically of the financial sector, that has brought us to this denouement. Better regulation would have prevented the housing bubble and its subsequent collapse.” They also believe, “Banks would not be sitting on unknown amounts of bad loans had regulators been empowered to control their activities. Unwitting borrowers would not have been enticed to purchase homes beyond their means absent unscrupulous real estate agents and mortgage brokers.”