<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Washington, D.C., April 15, 2003—As U.S. and British forces begin to wrap up their mission in Iraq, the international community is turning its attention to the problem of creating a stable, prosperous nation. While the process will no doubt be long and difficult, there are clear principles available to guide the Iraqi people: enforceable property rights, free markets, and limited but robust government. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
“The international community has an outstanding opportunity to use what economists have learned about wealth creation and apply it to the new nation of Iraq,” said Competitive Enterprise Institute President Fred L. Smith, Jr. “Examples in the region and around the world have taught us that a nation like Iraq can’t simply live off of its oil revenues—in order for a new middle class to emerge, a free market and private property rights are essential. Private ownership, as the history of state-owned industries has long demonstrated, is the only way to put profits to productive use rather than have them pilfered by politicians.”
“In the rush to address the larger diplomatic issues surrounding the regime change in Iraq, it is vital that the new government put down clear-headed first principles,” said CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis, Jr. “When the fighting is over and the Iraqi people turn to the long task of building a prosperous nation, it will be the basic institutions of a free society that will allow them to flourish. For the people of Iraq to have endured so much, only to be saddled with the kind of corrupt bureaucracy so common in the rest of the developing world, would be tragic.”
Experts Available for Interviews
Fred L. Smith, Jr.
Recently seen and heard: Crossfire (CNN), Capital Report (CNBC) and USA Today.
Marlo Lewis, Jr., Ph.D.
Recently seen and heard: Capital Report (CNBC), The Hill, and United Press International.
CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information about CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.