Economic freedom does not necessarily lead to economic prosperity. The people must be an industrious lot seeking the American dream. Our founders understood this and famously explained that our system wasn't for anybody. I suggest our current situation is less due to insufficient explanations than to a changing character of the American electorate that still seeks the American dream but looks to the government to provide it for them.
Remember, we have the government that the people chose. Another way, our government reflects the American people. Don't like the government? The government is not the problem, we are.