That said, I think some government regulation is necessary to preserve the free market. Free markets either end up in equilibreum or some form of failed market- you need governments to push things towards equilibreum, and to handle externalities.
I agree. The problem is we don't have this now in the US. We have regulation for the sake of favors designed to benefit particular groups. Or we have ridiculously complex regulation that is supposed to solve all our problems dreamed up by halfwits and really just full of more favors and pie in the sky ideas, but written into law. And all of this is never ending regulation (and taxes) which causes the government to grow every larger and ever more invasive. This is a problem because the larger and more complex the system the greater the barriers to the entrepreneur just starting out. Regulation certainly should exist, but it needs to be simple and fair. Two things our system hasn't sniffed in years. The system NEVER gets simpler, which is why the continually growing complexity should be fought every step of the way.
Fun example of the system never getting simpler: people in Pennsylvania were, until the last few years, still paying a tax to support relief efforts from the Johnstown Flood. Interesting, since the flood occurred in 1889.
However: what will make fewer Brads is that the paths to upward social mobility are much more difficult now than in my time, and my time was slightly more difficult than the 50s/60s.
This growing sense of difficulty is exactly what I am talking about as a result of the ever increasing complexity of the system.
Most people who argue against the size of government and the ever increasing regulatory burden are not against having government or regulation, they're just caricatured that way. They're really against have a system that is so complex that the average small business person can't understand it without thousands of dollars in legal and accounting fees spread across all sorts of areas their business might touch.