American history is a story of non-stop efforts by governments to intervene in the marketplace through regulations, monopolies, and subsidies. Most surprisingly, these market interventions appear to place a central role in causing economic crises over the years.
Lately, the Fed has been more and more involved in directly funding the Federal government by handing over Fed revenues to the Treasury. In fact, the Fed is handing over enough money to fund the entire food stamp program, and then some.
Following the discovery of the Americas, Spain began a 300-year period of booms, busts, war, and mercantilism. Only in the eighteenth century did the country begin to find prosperity through liberalization of trade and private property.