Economic Definition of paternalism. Defined.
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Term paternalism Definition: A fundamental philosophical viewpoint that the private sector (households and businesses) needs to be watched over--like a parent--by the public sector (government). In other words, members of society need to be watched over, cared for, and kept out of trouble, like parents watch over, care for, and keep their children out of trouble. This philosophy of paternalism should be contrasted directly with the philosophy of laissez faire, which essentially says "Hey, we're all grown ups here, we can make our own decisions."