The American economic system is organized around a basically private-enterprise, market-oriented economy in which consumers largely determine what shall be produced by spending their money in the marketplace for those goods and services that they want most. Private businessmen, striving to make profits, produce these goods and services in competition with other businessmen; and the profit motive, operating under competitive pressures, largely determines how these goods and services are produced. Thus, in the American economic system it is the demand of individual consumers, coupled with the desire of businessmen to maximize profits and the desire of individuals to maximize their incomes, that together determine what shall be produced and how resources are used to produce it.
An important factor in a market-oriented economy is the mechanism by which consumer demands can be expressed and responded to by producers. In the American economy, this mechanism is provided by a price system, a process in which prices rise and fall in response to relative demands of consumers and supplies offered by seller-producers. If the products is in short supply relative to the demand, the price will be bid up and some consumers will be eliminated from the market. If, on the other hand, producing more of a commodity results in reducing its cost, this will tend to increase the supply offered by seller-producers, which in turn will lower the price and permit more consumers to buy the product. Thus, price is the regulating mechanism in the American economic system.
The important factor in a private-enterprise economy is that individuals are allowed to own productive resources (private property), and they are permitted to hire labor, gain control over natural resources, and produce goods and services for sale at a profit. In the American economy, the concept of private property embraces not only the ownership of productive resources but also certain rights, including the right to determine the price of a product or to make a free contract with another private individual.
Exceptional children are different in some significant way from others of the same age. For these children to develop to their full adult potential, their education must be adapted to those differences.
Although we focus on the needs of exceptional children, we find ourselves describing their environment as well. While the leading actor on the stage captures our attention, we are aware of the importance of the supporting players and the scenery of the play itself. Both the family and the society in which exceptional children live are often the key to their growth and development. And it is in the public schools that we find the full expression of society's understanding — the knowledge, hopes, and fears that are passed on to the next generation.
Education in any society is a mirror of that society. In that mirror we can see the strengths, the weaknesses, the hopes, the prejudices, and the central values of the culture itself. The great interest in ex