Many proponents of Tea Party and the far right Libertarianism are trotting out the concept of laissez faire as an economic idea. You can see this in the current call for "get the Government out of (insert pet industry here)" sentiments and the general "less regulation, dismantle government agencies" arguments.
But, again, we've tried that as we grew as a nation. How did it work out? Not as well as the proponents would have you believe. Of course, they also give the reason that "we didn't try hard enough." Because there was some limited involvement of the government (like a central bank and early trials with income taxes, tariffs and charters) before abuses became so great that all these government agencies were created to help regulate the businesses. You might also see that Unions were created at the same time to protect workers from the most egregious work conditions. The "we didn't do it all the way" is the same as Peter Pan imploring us to "clap harder" so Tink will live.
So, how did laissez faire practices work out? Strident monopolies (rail, oil, textile, steel), labor abuses (child labor, 12 hour work days, factory towns/store/script), the stifling of innovation and entrepreneurship, physical intimidation as a business tactic, environmental degradation, the amassing of wealth in the top 10%, and eventually the Great Depression. That last one was the final nail for what remained of laissez faire attitudes, which we had already begun to move away from by the beginning of the 20th century (yes, there's an argument to be made that early regulation brought about the GD, but most economists will tell you it was also government interfering in the economy that got us out, finally).
What people tend to forget is their government, for the most part, is a reactionary vehicle. All those government programs like Civil Rights, Social Security, and Medicare and the Departments of Labor, Energy, Environment, Education, etc didn't form from a "wouldn't it be nice" philosophy. They came into being, kicking and screaming, because of the need to correct some wrong (or at least perceived wrong) that was happening. You may remember the fuss and consternation over the creation of the Department of Homeland Security. And heck, that only took a dramatic attack, a few thousand dead, and almost two years to enact.
However, people tend to forget that we had this time in America. Or look back on it with some fondness while ignoring all the terrible things that came with it. Again, nice idea, doesn't work in the real world.
Unless you want to go back to the conditions of having everything owned by the company, being paid in script that was useless outside the company store, and working until you dropped dead (literally), which then your family would be thrown out of the company owned house. Oh, and don't forget the price fixing and other monopolistic activities.
History, it's a bitch. And the liberal bias of reality intrudes again.