An essay on the economic role of the government in the mixed-market economy of the United States.

Essay by darklangelHigh School, 12th gradeA+, October 2005

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

Economic systems are identified by how they answer the three questions of what, how, and for whom to produce. Similarly, they are theoretical representations of economies found throughout the world that demonstrate the distribution of control between people and the government. The economic systems exist on a continuum, with command economies on one side and the free markets on the other side. The United States has a free market economy but with a notable amount of government intervention, therefore it has a mixed economy. The government acts as a provider and regulator of the United States' mixed economy through setting legal limits and sensible policies for economic functions for the people.

In the United States, decisions are made by individuals acting as participants within the market. The federal, state, and local governments, however, make laws protecting private property and regulating certain areas of business. Practiced in the United States today, capitalism would be best defined as an economic system in which individuals own the factors of production, but decide how to use them within legislated limits.

Nearly identical to capitalism, the free enterprise system is another definition for the American economy. The free enterprise system emphasizes that individuals are free to own and control aspects of production, yet expands on the fact that government places legal restrictions on freedom of enterprise. Zoning regulations, child-labor laws, hazardous waste rules, and other regulations limit free enterprise to protect the anticipated entrepreneur and his or her surroundings. When such rules are established, freedom has is boundaries and is considered a privilege.

Consumers in a market economy have the advantage of being able to choose among products. Contrasting to freedom of enterprise, freedom of choice applies to only the buyers, not the sellers. Although buyers are free to make choices, the market has grown...