What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of a Free Market Economy?

According to the Houston Chronicle, advantages of a free market economy include freedom of innovation and the ability of customers to drive choices in addition to disadvantages such as the danger of the profit margin and market failures. Other advantages include a quick response to consumers' demands, a wide variety of services and goods, and efficient use of resources. However, disadvantages also include unemployment, ignored social costs, and unavailability of some goods and services.

The Chronicle explains that business owners innovate new ideas, develop new products and offer new services in a free market economy. This innovation comes with little to no government interference in telling entrepreneurs what new products the public wants. The Chronicle also explains that consumers ultimately decide which products fail when they choose what to buy. However, the goal of creating a profit margin makes the free market economy dangerous ethically because sometimes business owners rank the pursuit of profit over the well-being of their employees and their customers.

The Chronicle further states that the free market economy has other potential harms if it is unchecked. For instance, far-reaching incidents such as the Great Depression of the 1930s and the real estate market crash of the early 2000s leave many people unemployed, homeless and without an income.