Adam Smith, father of modern capitalism, established the two keys for economic prosperity in a nation. The first was the concept that money does not equal wealth. Money only gives the ability to purchase wealth: food, clothing, homes, etc, and anything else that provides utility. Since money cannot give produce any good or service in and of itself, it can only be used to purchased goods and services. The second key for economic prosperity in a nation is the system of laissez faire liberalism. The term laissez faire means "let alone" and when applied to the financial market, creates a mindset of letting the market take care of itself. In Adam Smith’s day, liberalism meant liberty. This liberty was a freedom from the mercantilist view point of the government controlling the economy. When the market takes care of itself, production is dictated by the consumers’ demand. In this system, there is no interference from the government to stimulate certain businesses or downsize others; it is all left to the decisions of the consumers.

Capitalism and socialism, the two archenemies of the economic world. The fundamental differences in these systems can be provided by the answering of two questions. Who owns the nation’s factors of production? And how are the three basic economic questions, what is produced, how is it produced, and who will receive what is produced, answered? Capitalistic economies are basically controlled by the people and privately owned businesses. This system increases the amount of personal ownership and decision making. In a socialist economy, the state controls the means of production. It owns the equipment and factories, decides what will be produced, assigns workers to specific jobs, and provides equal pay for its citizens no matter how productive they are.

Personal ownership and decision making is brought to a bare minimum. In fact, according to Karl Marx, the root of the problems in this world in the ownership of private property. The freedom to think for yourself and make decisions is such an extremely foreign and dangerous concept that most of those that do speak their mind are imprisoned.