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Guest Thinkers

Fixing the Middle East’s Economy

Contributing to the uprisings across the Middle East is the suppression of democratic aspirations by authoritarian regimes. Important too is the dangerous state of the region’s economies.rn

While general political demands for a sovereign body politic may underlie demands for revolution, the right of free enterprise may play a more immediate cause: “Throughout most of the Middle East, the state and big business are so tightly intertwined as to be indistinguishable, and competition has been discouraged in favor of central planning and private monopolies. It’s hard for entrepreneurs to start and run a business. Minimum capital requirements tend to be high, so you can’t get started without lots of cash, and getting business licenses and registering property are frequently arduous. Political favoritism is rampant, and byzantine regulations are difficult for outsiders to navigate.”


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