What does the term "free enterprise" mean to you?   (I need multiple answers-->> it's for a civics class school survey.)

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Free enterprise is an economic system which is governed by supply and demand and not government intervention. It is prevalent in a free market economy. Choice is paramount and individuals and businesses choose, from what's available: 

what jobs to take, what goods or services to produce. And individuals decide what to consume.

Ideally prices are set according to market forces and customer satisfaction and profit is the main aim of business. Any government interference is frowned upon and avoided. When products are scarce there is sometimes a need to adapt the free enterprise model as society must itself determine how to allocate these scarce resources for the satisfaction of the people. It may become a subjective, opinionated decision-making process as priorities are often diverse and some measure of support - I hesitate to say control - is needed from government to maintain stability.


pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For me, the term “free enterprise” means that all people are able to do essentially whatever they want with their property.  They are able to do whatever they want as a way of trying to get rich.  A system that allows free enterprise is one in which the government does not try to control the market.  Of course, there is some degree of government control.  You can’t sell heroin or cocaine.  You can’t use child labor.  But, for the most part, the government lets people engage in whatever kind of economic activity they want.  The government does not own many companies and it does not try to dictate what sorts of goods or services will be produced.