Oh, the early 20th century where we had the Great Depression? Child labor? Dark satanic mills? Yes, that worked out great. If your name was Rockefeller.
It never 'worked OK once'. To the degree that market fundamentalism has been tried it has sown only misery for the many, to the benefit of a few.
What is he talking about, the freest time in America is when the modern world was created (after the civil war before the new deal). The light bulb was invented, the car started to be produced, the telephone was invented, airplanes, radio, movies, recorded music, tractors, washing machines, refrigerators, etc. Virtually everything that makes the modern lifestyle was created and popularized during this time that he claims had sown only misery for the many. If anything we are in a slump of innovation today by comparison. Yeah it never worked out, what a joke. I guess the masses were just too oppressed by their new cars, and washing machines. Also this child labor boogieman drives me nuts, so what if there was child labor in the early part of the century, you do know that there has always been child labor, all throughout history, until the industrial revolution made it so machines could replace human labor, thus making it so fewer people had to work to produce the same amount or more, this is what allowed children to be free of labor, not the government.