Well you are covering an awful lot there Bob, but as far as government regulation goes, we actually had more government regulation 40 years ago than we do now. When I began working there was a stack of rules and regulations as big as the Manhatten phone book governing my business (broadcasting) and most of my time was taken up filling out logs, keeping records and doing tests and inspections required by the federal government- the FCC in this case. A few years later- along came OSHA and the EPA and more rules and paperwork to do.
I'm sure it was a similar story with other business- banking, brokerages, airlines, phone companies- just about all had a lot of government rules to follow and paperwork to do. Then in the early 1980s there was a big movement towards deregulation. I was glad to see a lot of those rules go- which were simply long outdated- but I though that there were others that made sense and should have been kept. I think even Brandon would agree that radio would be better today if the rules prohibited monopoly ownership and other changes that allowed too many stations to come on had been kept in place.
Now I'm sure that a similar deregulation has taken place in other industries- and because industry lobbyists badger and bribe lawmakers to get what ever laws and rule changes they want. In many cases there was good reason for these rules and history has shown that removing them has resulted in undesirable results- which is just what we have seen in the banking, insurance and investment industry.
So now the pendulum swings the other way- back to more regulation- or re-regulation. In short- we are re-learning the lesson of 1929 again- that greed will get out of hand when there is too-lax control- and it's the public- the little people who have seen their life savings vanish into smoke who are the losers.