Western media interpreted the Arab Spring as a drive for democracy, but protesters were mainly motivated by lack of opportunity and jobs in dead crony-capitalist and crony-socialist systems. Tunisia's economy has gotten worse since the Arab Spring, beset by strikes, a tourist industry hobbled by terrorist attacks, and failure to make meaningful reform.
Dr. Michael A. Walker Research Chair in Economic Freedom, The Fraser Institute
Fred McMahon is the Vice President International Policy Research and the Director of the Centre for Trade and Globalization Studies at The Fraser Institute. He manages the Economic Freedom of the World Project and examines global issues, such as development, trade, governance, and economic structure. The Centre coordinates the Economic Freedom Network, an international alliance of independent think tanks in nearly 70 nations. As well, the centre publishes The Fraser Institute's Annual Survey of Mining Companies. McMahon is the author of numerous research articles and several books including Looking the Gift Horse in the Mouth: The Impact of Federal Transfers on Atlantic Canada , which won the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award for advancing public policy debate, Road to Growth: How Lagging Economies Become Prosperous , and Retreat from Growth: Atlantic Canada and the Negative Sum Economy . He has written for numerous publications including the European Journal of Political Economy, the SAIS Journal (School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University), The Wall Street Journal, Policy Options, The National Post, Time (Canada), The Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, and most other major Canadian newspapers. Research articles he has recently authored or co-authored include: "Economic Freedom of North America", "Quebec Prosperity: Taking the Next Step", "The Unseen Wall: The Fraser Institute''s Annual Trade Survey", and "Economic Freedom of the Arab World" . He has a MA in Economics from McGill University, Montreal
Despite the courageous and tireless efforts of many members of Tunisia's civil society, real democratic stability will fail in Tunisia unless economic policy shifts from milking an impoverished state and stifling economic freedom to creating conditions for meaningful productive employment for all.
10/27/2015 08:35 EDT
The violence that spun out of the Arab Spring in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Syria grabbed the headlines but the real problem received little attention -- lack of opportunity. This lack of opportunity for the people of the Middle East is an issue the West largely ignored and partly caused.
08/15/2014 12:38 EDT
The real solution to the flood of illegal immigrants from Central America is not higher walls or more guns to combat gangs, but to follow the path of Chile. Increased economic freedom, open to all not just the elites, would give youth an alternative to gangs and create the prosperity, opportunity, and calm that will keep people at home.
08/05/2014 05:52 EDT
In the debate as to whether Canada should sell Nexen oil company to to China National ignores one important factor: CNOOC is state-owned. The "company overview" on CNOOC's website clearly states that its top executives are members of China's ruling Communist Party. Therefore, in effect, Nexen would become a "crown" corporation, but one controlled by the government of China instead of Canada. While government should stay out of the way of true market transactions, takeovers by state-owned companies are simply not in the best interest of Canadians, given the long sorry record of such companies.
08/27/2012 05:19 EDT
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