2 Features of Capitalism The U.S. economy is built on capitalism and free enterprise.Capitalism is an economic system in which private citizens own and use the factors of production to seek a profit.Free enterprise is an economy in which competition is allowed to flourish with a minimum of government interference.Mall of America
3 Consumer SovereigntyMarkets are places where different sectors of the economy interact, and their exchanges determine the prices of goods and services.Businesses try to produce the products people want most.Because of this, we use the term consumer sovereignty to describe the consumer as ruler of the market, the one who determines what products will be produced.
4 Choice FAO Schwartz Choice is a key element for free enterprise. We are free to choose the occupation we want and where we want to work.We can choose the products we will buy.Businesses can choose the products they will produce and offer for sale.FAO Schwartz
5 ConsequenceAlong with the freedom to choose comes the responsibility to accept the consequences of the decisions.If an entrepreneur starts a business that fails, the government usually won’t help out.
6 The Right to Own Property Under capitalism, we also have private property rights.We are free to own and use, or dispose of, our own property as we choose as long as we do not interfere with the rights of others.These rights give us the incentive to work, save, and invest.
7 CompetitionCapitalism thrives on competition—the struggle between buyers and sellers to get the best products at the lowest prices.Competition rewards the most efficient producers and forces the least efficient out of business. Competition results in efficient production, higher quality products, and more satisfied customers.
8 Profit & Profit MotiveProfit is the money left over after all costs of production have been paid.The profit motive is the driving force behind free enterprise and capitalism. People are willing to invest in a business venture and risk losing their investment for the chance to earn a profit.
9 Voluntary ExchangeVoluntary exchange is the act of buyers and sellers freely and willingly engaging in market transactions.As long as exchanges are voluntary, both buyer and seller must feel that they benefit from their exchange, or they will not do it.
10 The Spread of Capitalism Capitalism developed gradually over hundreds of years.Two concepts underlie the market system:People Can Work for Economic Gain, andGovernment Should Have a Very Limited Role in the Economy
11 Economist-Adam SmithIn his book The Wealth of Nations, Scottish economist Adam Smith scientifically described the basic principles of economics for the first time.Smith believed that individuals, in seeking profit, end up benefiting society as a whole.
12 Laissez-FaireFrom the writings of Smith and others came the idea of laissez-faire, meaning “to let alone.”According to this philosophy, government should not interfere in the marketplace. Government’s role is to ensure free competition.Many American Founders were influenced by Smith’s book.
13 Other Market Systems- Command Economy In a pure command economy, the central government makes the major economic decisions. Individuals have few choices and little influence over the economy. This system has also been called a controlled economy, socialism, or communism.Socialism is the belief that the means of production should be owned and controlled by society, either directly or through the government.Under communism one class would evolve, property would all be held in common, and there would be no need for government.
15 Other Market Systems- Mixed Economies CanadaA mixed economy combines basic elements of a pure market economy and a command economy.Most countries have a mixed economy that combines private ownership of property and individual decision making with government intervention and regulations.
17 Other Market Systems- Traditional Economies In traditional economies, economic decisions of what, how, and for whom to produce are based on custom or habit.The way of life is passed down from generation to generation.