Howdy to you Sam!
I personally believe, that from all the different sources I've read from about America's long 100+ year march away from founding principles, that this essay best sums up "How We Got Here".
As an ex-longhair of the sixties, who after serving my 4 yrs from 72-76, was taking an Econ 101 class just as Ronnie was campaigning. Our prof taught us about the Laffer Curve. I was about 28 then, and the combo hit me hard - I almost instantly understood just how much of what I'd absorbed from culture, media and my public educrats, was plainly riddled with lies and ommissions. That the State had it's own agenda of self preservation and expansion in it's own self interest, and that taxpayers were mere lackeys either unwittingly or grudgingly supporting what clearly is to the taxpayer's detriment vis our incremental loss of economic liberty and other rights which pre-existed before the State via taxation and regulation.
I know you'll enjoy it immensely.
Thinking over the article the last few days, there are related parallels, I believe.
One wonders for instance if evils such as racism could have persisted quite so virulently had they not been institutionalised. It's clear that, just as businesses enlisted the aid of government to stifle competition, racists did the same to enforce their preferences. Segregation wasn't just custom, it was law.
Primogeniture would be another example, families made it the law of the land in an effort to ensure that the same families would retain power generation after generation.
It seems that a lot of the so called evils of capitilism and free societies are the result, not of that freedom, but the restriction of it.