Remember Bobby Jindal's response to president Obama's first State of the Union address? Why do we spend millions of taxpayer money to monitor volcanoes, he asked, and that there's nothing Americans can't do on their own! Then a volcano erupted... I'm sure you've heard of the recent oily mess off the coast of several states whose voters think Jindal's view of an impotent state is right on the money.
The conservatives keep saying that the marketplace can take care of the bad actors in it. Yeah, right. They say that bad, unsafe practices will be punished by the consumers and the court system. Of course, this doesn't happen because we know it hasn't! Bad practices, including illegalities aren't necessarily bad for business. Especially BIG business. Wall Street gambles, screws up, and what happens? Too big to fail comes to my mind.
The people in charge of making decisions are rewarded with huge bonuses and golden parachutes. Their companies are "too big to fail" we're told. Often the end result is: privatizing the profit and socializing the risk. Capitalism for most of the people, socialism for the rich.
Yet, in an advanced democracy the government's role is to empower and protect. Who really needs this? The marketplace can't do this. Equality of opportunity, safety (workplace and individual), and consumer protection have not come because private business saw it fit to do so. It came through collective action and government passing laws often in the face of visceral opposition from the big business interests and their political ally--the US Republican Party (20th century on).