Social Question

rojo's avatar

Free markets and free enterprise. Is there a difference in your mind?

Asked by rojo (15880 points ) April 16th, 2014

And, if so, what do you think the differences are?

Can free enterprise exist without a free market?

What about free market without free enterprise?

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2 Answers

bolwerk's avatar

Markets are usually about trading goods and services (buying and selling), and an enterprise is usually about generating goods and services. However, most people probably wouldn’t distinguish between the terms “free market” and “free enterprise,” because their understanding of economic and political terminology is too impoverished. They would conflate them fully with the ideology of laissez-faire capitalism. And that adds a whole other can of worms about what role ownership plays, indeed what ownership is, in the economy.

It’s like the terms right-wing, liberal, left-wing, and conservative. Few people actually know what they mean. These are all incredibly loaded terms that allow people to attribute to them whatever meaning they want, and avoid having a discussion.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s easier to discuss what they have in common, and that is that they are both slick gimmicks conjured up to idealize laissez-faire capitalism. And as would be expected, neither exists in reality.

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