On the US Economy
The myth of the "Free Market" in the US is alive and well. It is a nice story for the masses, But it obscures the reality that those who govern can and do intrude on and regulate nearly every aspect of what comprises the economy at the micro level.
Forty years ago an economics professor made the comment that if you want to understand the true character of a country, look at their tax laws.
I believe that there is a level at which the US (and the global economy at large) are, in fact, out of control and uncontrollable. (A point made quite well by other commentards.)
Government has a role. The examples cited by DY are all good examples of where those who governed acted for what the perceived as the commonweal. This is very different from the situation today, where those who govern do so uncompromisingly for the benefit of special interests.