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Laissez-faire (// LESS-ay-FAIR; from French: laissez faire [lɛse fɛːʁ] ⓘ, lit. 'let do') is a type of economic system in which transactions between private groups of people are free from any form of economic interventionism (such as subsidies or regulations). As a system of thought, laissez-faire rests on the following axioms: "the individual is the basic unit in society, i.e., the standard of measurement in social calculus; the individual has a natural right to freedom; and the physical order of nature is a harmonious and self-regulating system." The original phrase was laissez faire, laissez passer, with the second part meaning "let (things) pass". It is generally attributed to Vincent de Gournay.
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Another basic principle of laissez-faire holds that markets should naturally be competitive, a rule that the early advocates of laissez-faire always emphasized.
The Physiocrats were early advocates of laissez-faire and advocated for a impôt unique, a tax on land rent to replace the "monstrous and crippling network of taxation that had grown up in 17th century France". Their view was that only land should be taxed because only land is productive. [clarification needed]
Proponents of laissez-faire argue for a near complete separation of government from the economic sector.[verification needed] The phrase laissez-faire is part of a larger French phrase and literally translates to "let [it/them] do", but in this context the phrase usually means to "let it be" and in expression "laid back". Although never practiced with full consistency, laissez-faire capitalism emerged in the mid-18th century and was further popularized by Adam Smith's book The Wealth of Nations.
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