Market Economy Definition
The Market Economy is the heart of a country’s financial strength and social well-being. A country can prosper economically if its citizens work hard and seek out profitable enterprises to invest in. Or, the country can become economically distressed if its citizens refuse to work and instead spend their time and money on frivolous activities. In either case, a country’s economic condition depends heavily on the way it manages its economy.
Market Economy is a system where goods and services are exchanged between individuals based on their relative supply and demand. In this system, people buy what they need at prices they consider fair. When people have enough money to spend on everything they want, we call this situation full employment.
In a free-market economy, businesses compete for customers by offering products and services that meet consumers’ wants. Businesses produce goods and services that consumers desire and then sell them at a price that covers costs and earns a profit. If a business does not make a profit, it goes out of business.
Government’s Roles in A Market Economy
The government’s role in a market economy is to protect property rights and ensure equal access to markets. The government may regulate some industries, such as utilities, banking, insurance, and securities trading, to prevent fraud and unfair practices.
Government regulation of the economy includes taxes, tariffs, subsidies, minimum wages, and unemployment compensation. Taxes are compulsory charges levied on economic activity. Tariffs are import duties imposed on imports. Subsidies are payments made to producers to encourage production. Minimum wages set a floor below which employers cannot pay workers. Unemployment compensation provides income to those who lose jobs.
A market economy is characterized by private ownership of capital assets, competitive markets, and flexible exchange rates. Private ownership means that individuals own the means of production, including factories, farms, and transportation systems. Competitive markets mean that buyers and sellers negotiate freely over prices and terms. Flexible exchange rates allow countries to maintain fixed exchange rates while adjusting domestic monetary policy to control inflation.
Under a market economy, citizens use their money to buy goods and services from private businesses. Instead of buying goods and services from the government, consumers would instead buy from government suppliers- for example, paying taxes. In this way, consumers would directly affect the economy’s growth rate by directly impressive government income. Government revenue would increase as a result and the government would have more money to finance projects that benefit the entire nation.
Throughout history, governments have encouraged economic growth through fiscal policy- setting fiscal policy allows for an growth or reduction in the amount of money within a country. A good example of effective fiscal policy is Japan’s price control during World War II. By fully controlling prices in its own country, Japan was able to run an economic engine that never stopped running. In that way, while they deny it, Marxists are right: inflation does support economic growth. When you control prices and supply your citizens with necessities, it bolsters your image and makes them willing to work for you.
However, when a government controls economic growth by controlling businesses, it denies citizens opportunities that could improve their standard of living. Over time, this can lead to economic distress as citizens lose faith in their government’s ability to provide them with goods and services at cheap prices. To releive this effect of market control over business investment, governments must promote business investment through fiscal awards- for example, granting tax decline or grant to encourage business growth. In this way, market control over business investment facilitates economic growth while promoting government revenue collection.
The market economy is an ideal system because it hearten people to work and buy goods and services from businesses instead of the government. In addition to further revenue collection, this system also hearten businesses to grow and create jobs for citizens looking for employment. Furthermore, national success increases when governments promote business growth through fiscal motive and laws.