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Laissez-faire (/ˌlɛsˈfɛər/ 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."[1] The original phrase was laissez faire, laissez passer, with the second part meaning "let (things) pass". It is generally attributed to Vincent de Gournay.[2]

Another basic principle of laissez-faire holds that markets should naturally be competitive, a rule that the early advocates of laissez-faire always emphasized.[1]

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".[3] Their view was that only land should be taxed because only land is productive. [4][clarification needed]

Proponents of laissez-faire argue for a near complete separation of government from the economic sector.[5][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".[6] 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.[7][8]

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