Enterprise in a Free Society

Enterprise in a Free Society

Enterprise in a Free Society

Enterprise in a Free Society

Excerpt

This book is written in the conviction that the volume of production, and hence the economic power and well-being of this nation, depends very largely upon the business enterprisers of the country. In a modern economy, there are several groups who must co-operate in the productive process. These include: the owners of resources; the workers at all levels; the suppliers of capital; the scientists, engineers, and inventors; and, finally, those who combine the services of all these and who activate production. These last are the enterprisers, or, in the language of formal economics, the entrepreneurs.

We here undertake to direct attention to these enterprisers and to the policies and attitudes of the government and of the general public which, especially in a democracy, are required to encourage them to perform their essential activating function. In an interdependent, and therefore a co-operating economy, all the "factors of production" contribute to a determination of the volume of output and of national income; the greater the supply of any of them, and of all of them in combination, the larger will be the volume of production, the higher will be the level of economic well-being, and the greater will be the economic power of the country. No one of them, therefore, can claim to be the sole productive factor. But because of the organizing and the energizing functions of enterprise, there is a special reason for emphasizing the practical importance of this factor, particularly in a dynamic and progressive economy.

The fiscal and other policies of government, the policies of special groups in the society, the attitudes of the public, and the general spirit of the people--all have a bearing upon the volume of production; but very largely they gain practical significance through the effects which they have upon the decisions of enter-

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