Related to the abdication of Tunisian President, the Washington Post reports:

The simmering discontent erupted into the open Dec. 17 in the inland city of Sidi Bouzid after an unlicensed fruit vendor identified as Mohammed Bouazzi set himself afire. Bouazzi acted after a policeman confiscated the wares off his cart and, according to news reports, after he was slapped by a female city hall employee to whom he had turned to complain.

Thus, concretely, this political change in Tunisia was a response to the oppression of a businessman who attempted to trade without government permission.

As demonstrated by Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto in his book The Mystery of Capitalism, in developing countries, excessive regulation of business activity fosters corruption, extra-legality, and obstructs capital accumulation.  Modern South American history demonstrates that moving from authoritarian regimes to democracies is insufficient as the failure of these democracies led to popular calls for authoritarian leaders.

These concretes demonstrate that young Tunisians who want real change need to demand laissez-faire capitalism as the antidote to government corruption; of course, the same is true of young Americans.

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