In the US, "free market" doesn't mean an actual free market. I cannot think of a single one off the top of my head where it actually applies. The term "free market" in the US is invariably doublespeak. Crony capitalism does not a free market make.
Government is not the only way to work together in order to improve things. One of the great downfalls in the US is the growing belief that only through government can things be made better.