Back to top

The Many Restrictions Placed on Free Markets


Published November 19, 2021

Truly free enterprise gives anyone the freedom to start a business, small or large. But government restrictions place limits on who can establish businesses. This has had negative effects on the emergence of new small enterprises in America.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What kinds of regulations does the government impose on free enterprise?
  2. What are the results of a strict regulatory environment?

Additional Resources:

  • Watch “Milton Friedman Speaks: The Future of Our Free Society,” on the Free to Choose Network. Available here.
  • Read “Occupational Licensing Is a Bad Idea,” by David Henderson. Available here.
  • Read “Reforming Regulation,” a chapter by Michael Boskin in Blueprint for America. Available here.


View Transcript

Free enterprise means that anybody shall be free to set up an enterprise, to start small and grow big.

And yet, in that sense, you are not free in this country to set up a bank, unless you can get certificate of convenience and necessity from a governmental official.

You are not free to become a lawyer or a physician or a plumber or a mortician, or a host of other occupations, unless you can get a license from a state body certifying that you may offer your services for sale.

You are not free to go to business of offering electricity or telephone service without getting a permit and permission

You are not free to raise money at the capital market, unless you fill out the 400 or more pages of forms that SEC will demand of you at a cost which has had as one of its major affects a strong handicap to the emergence of new small enterprises in this country.