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I think Wiki has it about right:

In common usage it refers to an economic system in which all or most of the means of production are privately owned and operated (commonly for profit), and where investments, production, distribution, income, and prices are determined largely through the operation of a "free market" rather than by centralized state control (as in a command economy).


Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jun 24th, 2006 at 05:18:18 PM EST
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