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Back to the Blog Elliott Abrams Talks About Unrest in Egypt

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On today’s edition of Coffee and Markets, Brad Jackson and Ben Domenech are joined by Francis Cianfrocca and Elliott Abrams, former senior national security adviser to George W. Bush and assistant secretary of state for Ronald Reagan to discus the unrest in Egypt.

We’re brought to you as always by BigGovernment and Stephen Clouse and Associates. If you’d like to email us, you can do so at coffee[at]newledger.com. We hope you enjoy the show.

Related Links:

Abrams: Bush Was Right About Freedom in the Arab World
Abrams: Lessons of January
Hamid: Obama Got Egypt Wrong
Muravchik: Three Scenarios in Egypt
RS: Egypt Approaches the Abyss
Abrams: Pressure Points Blog

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If you look at Egypt over the past ten years, there’s been a tremendous amount of foreign investment, and the Egyptian stock market has been fabulous — you would’ve been a lot better investing in it than in the New York Stock Exchange or the London Stock Exchange. But there’s no trickle down — the rich get richer. If you look at the Forbes list of billionaires, you’ll see a number of Egyptians on it now. The rich in Egypt are very rich indeed — their own planes, their own yachts, so there’s a lot of money floating around — but it’s floating around at the top levels. The Egyptian office worker, the Egyptian farmer is still exceptionally poor. And what this has done is create a sense, in Tunisia and in much of Egypt, a sense that everything is being stolen, that there’s nothing here for the common man, it’s just all for the rich.
And that is exacerbated by a second thing: there’s a ruling system here, there’s a ruling party — the National Democratic Party and the security forces — and if you’re plugged into those, you have ways of beating the system. If you’re not plugged in — if you don’t have people who can look out for you inside the system, officials of the party — then you’re not going to see any money, you just work and work and work and get nothing for it.

You were born in a social and economic class. You die there. Your children will die there, too. There’s no social mobility.

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