an ever-shrinking number of companies leveraging their ever-increasing power to charge more and more for less and less
You just described a mixed economy having a central bank that controls the money supply, not capitalism. The United States has never had capitalism, only a mixed economy. This leads always to monopolies and corporate manipulation with government. Please explain how a corporation could establish itself as a monopoly without the legal use of force, i.e. government. Without government support, no company would be safe from competition. I'm wrong you say? Please provide an example of a corporation that became a "monopoly", provided a shitty product, and charged a high price for it.
It's not that the market is a bad thing or that capitalism is unworkable, it's just that it's not a magical cornucopia.
Supporters of true laissez faire don't claim that it is magical. Contrast that with supporters of state control and increased regulation. To them, the government can fix anything.
Whenever I hear "the government ruins everything" I know that I'm hearing ideology, not reality. The people saying such things take so many of the regulations, which make this country run smoothly, for granted.
Whenever I hear "the government makes this country run smoothly", I know that I'm hearing ideology, not reality. The government is by its very nature and definition an institution of criminals that accomplishes everything it does by force and coercion. In a democratic nation, just because 51% of the population chooses something, it does not mean it is justified to FORCE the other 49% into doing it. Likewise, the 51% majority likely will not even get what they vote for anyway, as is seen with the current and previous American administrations. You may remember that GW Bush campaigned on a non-interventionist foreign policy.
All of the agencies you have listed have nothing to do with the quality of food, worker safety, air travel, highway safety, and building codes - those things are all improved only by the actions of free individuals on the market. While companies may be compelled by government "standards", the real driving force behind any increase of quality is due to competition. Company A, no matter how large must, must maintain a certain level of quality if it does not want to risk losing market share to smaller, better companies in the same sector. The belief that without government constraints, all production would be rubbish or food poisonous, etc. is ludicrous. On the contrary, look at any country that has had increased controls and you will see less production at a lower quality, along with a worse standard of living.
In a free market, no company can escape from competition. Coercive monopolies are not possible without government policy. Without the force of government, no company has the power to force anyone and can always be out maneuvered.
Sure, the government pays for health care, but that money doesn't have to then come out of your pocket or your company's pocket.
And where exactly are you suggesting the government gets its money from if not from corporate and individual citizens? (Printing and borrowing aside since they only defer the responsibility temporarily)
"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel