Government serves important purposes, but for some things, like creating economic prosperity, for example, the free market is far superior. As the communist economic model imploded in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and China and India - the world's most populous countries - opened up their markets, the poverty rate around the globe shrank dramatically. In the past 30 years, the percentage of people living on less than the equivalent of $1.25 per day from 52 percent of the world population to 22 percent.
According to Guy Sorman writing in City Journal, the United States deserves much of the credit. You can read his article here.