Laissez-FaireBack to Glossary
Laissez-faire is a school of economic thought that originated in the 18th century. The term translates to ‘let do’ or ‘leave alone’. Proponents of laissez-faire economics are against government interference and believe that markets should be self-regulating. They are hostile to regulation in general, as well as trade restrictions and even minimum wages. The term itself is thought to have come from a meeting in 1681 between the French finance minister and a group of businessmen. When he asked the assembled businessmen how he could be of service to them, the response was simply: “Laissez-nous faire”, literally meaning ‘leave it to us’.
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