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In the Congo, it requires 18 documents to import anything.
Wade added: "The fact we have so many rules—who benefits most? Multinationals."
"And crony capitalists," Strong added. "Corruption in Africa is a symptom of massive overregulation."
Are there any free cities along the lines Strong and Wade envision?
"Hong Kong and Singapore are the best examples," Strong said. "Now they are among the wealthiest places on earth."
And there is a free city in Dubai because the emirate wanted to create a financial sector, but sharia law prevented it.
"Dubai was brilliant," Strong said. "They looked around the world. They saw that Hong Kong, Singapore, New York, Chicago, Sydney, London all ran British common law. British common law is much better for commerce than is French common law or sharia law. So they took 110 acres of Dubai soil, put British common law with a British judge in charge, and they went from an empty piece of soil to the 16th most powerful financial center in world in eight years."
It's what libertarians have said: Freedom works, and government, when it grows beyond the barest minimum, keeps people poor.
John Stossel is host of Stossel on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of Give Me a Break and of Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com.
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