Critical Writing Assigment 4

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Critical Writing Assignment 4: Free Markets: Classical Economic Definitions & Perspectives
Professor Marlo Chavarria
201420 Spring 2014 ECON 350-D02 LUO
Cameron L. Atkinson
Student-Liberty University Online

Abstract
This essay examines the concept of a free market and the various interpretations of classical economists. The author begins by defining a free market from a classical perspective. He then proceeds to examine the interpretation of David Ricardo, which leaned somewhat to laissez-faire economics, the interpretation of John Stuart Mill, which was complex and indecisive, and the interpretation of Karl Marx, which argued against the concept of a free market. The essay concludes by discussing the complexity of the debate and the unanswered questions it still presents to modern economists. Keywords: free market, free market system, David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx

Introduction The majority of classical economists based their work on the concept of a free market system (Sowell, 2006). However, they often had varying interpretations of a free market. These different perspectives have led to confusion about the true definition of a free market. This essay will first define a free market from a classical perspective and then examine David Ricardo’s, John Stuart Mill’s, and Karl Marx’s interpretations of a free market. Their views compose the three major schools of classical economic thought regarding a free market, and they have shaped the way society views free markets today.
Defining a Free Market What is a free market? There are many definitions that can be used to describe a free market; however, these definitions are often biased by the political views of their developers (Genetski, 2011). Consequently, the general conception of a free market can either be one of a laissez-faire economy or one of an economic system that solves…...

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