Dr. Milton Freidman, the great defender of free markets, said about government control: “If you put our government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years, we would have a shortage of sand.”
Let's compare how the two philosophies have worked.
South Korea, since that country was divided, has boomed and become a prosperous, modern nation. North Korea has gone nowhere during the same period. Their people are starving in the dark due to complete government control.
Before Ronald Reagen ended the Cold War victoriously, East Germany couldn't even provide even the most basic needs for its people. I know, because my father was from there, and when he sent care packages to his relatives in Plauen, his boyhood home, the most asked-for item was toilet paper. The second was soap. See, under free markets today's luxuries become tomorrows necessities, and under Socialism or Communism, today's necessities become tomorrow’s luxuries.
You see, centralized government has never worked.
West Germany, on the other hand, became an economic powerhouse, and when the wall came down they absorbed the demoralized East Germans, and now they are the economic leader of Europe.
Another example of the power of free markets is one country during two eras. China under Mao was a complete disaster, despite complete control, and several unsuccessful “great leaps forward” over many sad unproductive years where millions died.
Then, after Mao, they let just a little entrepreneurship in. Since then they've been the fastest growing economy in the world AND the ATM to finance Obama's path to economic ruin.
Government makes laws and regulations to make things better but often, unintended consequences of these rules make things worse.
Take the housing collapse, and the ensuing recession. Of course, the blame was put on President Bush, because it happened on his watch. But it started with the “Community Development Act” in 1996 under Clinton. This act mandated mortgages to people who didn't have the means to pay them back. The banks balked at this, saying they couldn't put bad loans on their books, it was bad business practice. The government said “Just do it” and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would cover the loans. The banks said “Cool, we can do that.” So the banks started writing risky loans, and more risky loans, and home prices went up and up making more and more people wanting to get in on this great “scheme.” We had a housing boom, but something seemed wrong. George Bush (the beneficiary of the boom) began to worry, and asked Congress for an investigation of Fannie and Freddie and all these mortgages, and mortgage backed securities floating around. Senators Dodd and Frank, Democrats in charge of overseeing Fannie and Freddie, said “nonsense” and no investigation ensued. When the house of cards collapsed, so did the economy. Those responsible took no blame. Instead it was easier to blame Bush, who should have pushed harder on the investigation, but the whole thing started 11 years earlier.