Laissez Faire Economics

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Since the dawning of our national government there has been a great debate. Does the government have the right to interfere with the practices of big business? The first kind of government, the kind that the United States is currently under, is a general welfare state, where the poor are given some money and the big business is regulated by the economy. The second kind of government, a Laissez- Faire government, comes from the French and literally means "hands off", which means that the government wouldn't be able to regulate big business, but people living in poverty conditions would not get any money either. The best kind of government is the General Welfare State, as it allows all businesses to be regulated and for everyone to get some of the government's money.

The main argument against the General Welfare State is the argument "survival of the fittest." The term comes from the Charles Darwin's Origin of Species where Darwin said that the strongest of animals survive while the weaker are killed off and destroyed.

Herbert Spencer talks of this with water buffalo saying, "The fastest water buffalo survive while the slowest and weakest are killed first." He then relates it to the modern economy, saying that if the American worker doesn't work hard, then they don't deserve to have money and wealth and are responsible for their own actions. William Graham Sumner also believes this is true, saying that the rich are rich because they worked hard to get there, while the poor lack wealth "because they are lazy". The problem with this argument is that Darwin's theory is taken completely out of context and being twisted and skewed in order to reflect the view of those against assistance from the government. Darwin never wrote The Origin of Species...