"Remember, this country was built on the concept of individuality"
No it wasn't. Its not like a collective of people got together and built anything with a particular grand vision. And the original instantiation of this country was a failure. Remember the Articles of Confederation? It took a minuscule handful of people behind closed doors to fix that mess.
"there are plenty of places to live that fit that model"
Ah. The old, if you don't like it here you can move someplace else argument. That's always a good way to invalidate a complaint.
"But that is not historically what led to the US gaining the strength and economic might"
I'd attribute WWII for a lot of that. We weren't exactly a world power before that. And amazingly, that was about the time the US starting implementing a lot of those evil "socialist" programs.