A free market is a free flow of goods
and full utilization
unfettered by regulation
. It has been and is often touted as the most beneficial economic system. Usually the works of Adam Smith
are cited as supporting this notion, although Adam Smith only laid out the properties of completely free markets, and never actually advocated them in their extreme. The belief in the necessity of free markets is a basic tenet of Neoliberal
The reason completely free markets are not a beneficial economic system is that the full utilization of resources and lack of regulation, while good for abstract bottom line markers such as Gross Domestic Product, leads to inevitable negative consequences for the quality of human life.
Proponents of free markets fall into two camps. True proponents are Market Fascists, not recognizing the needs of human society beyond producing and consuming, and many other proponents only support market freedom insofar as it benefits their bottom line, but then advocate for government largesse in support of them and regulation detrimental to their competition.