A laissez faire economy strongly opposes government intervention in business.French for “leave alone,” laissez faire became an economic theory in the 18th century. Supporters of laissez faire oppose minimum wages, duties and other trade restrictions. They believe that businesses free from government regulations will flourish. Laissez faire theories were influential in the United States’ Industrial Revolution. The works of classical economists like Adam Smith influence laissez faire’s applications today. Smith argued that humans will serve their own interests first and that societal benefits will follow. While laissez faire remains one of capitalism’s guiding principles, critics claim that it can lead to poverty and economic imbalances. Unfortunate examples are the unsafe work conditions and large wealth gaps that appeared in the U.S. during its Industrial Revolution. The U.S implemented policies to protect workers from hazardous conditions and consumers from unfair business practices during the depression of the 1930s. It’s important to note that these policies were not intended to interfere with business practices and competition.