If a project like the LHC were really producing useful results, the free market would jump to fund it.
Actually, businesses rarely looks farther than 5 years in a business plan.
If a research project can't make a profit in that time, they don't pursue it.
The LHC took 10 years to build, from 1998 to 2008. Therefore nearly all of the physics research that has been performed and its resulting discoveries and breakthroughs would never have happened if it was left to the "free market".
Science and understanding can not progress through simple theory. The ideas must be tested and validated. That's the reason for facilities like this.