Capitalism - Economic Elements

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There are a number of different elements in the capitalist socio-economic system.

Capitalism is defined as a social and economic system where capital assets are mainly owned and controlled by private persons, where labor is purchased for money wages, capital gains accrue to private owners, and the price mechanism is utilized to allocate capital goods between uses. The extent to which the price mechanism is used, the degree of competitiveness and government intervention in markets distinguish exact forms of capitalism.

There are different variations of capitalism which have different relationships to markets and the state. In free-market and Laissez-faire forms of capitalism, markets are utilized most extensively with minimal or no regulation over the pricing mechanism. In interventionist and mixed economies, markets continue to play a dominant role but are regulated to some extent by government in order to correct market failures and to promote social welfare. In state capitalist systems, markets are relied upon the least, with the state relying heavily on state-owned enterprises or indirect economic planning to accumulate capital.

Capitalism and capitalist economics is generally considered to be the opposite of socialism, which contrasts with all forms of capitalism in the following ways: social ownership of the means of production, where returns on the means of production accrue to society at large, and goods and services are produced directly for their utility (as opposed to being produced by profit-seeking businesses).

Read more about this topic:  Capitalism

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