A free market doesn't do squat for them. China has a free market - look at the state of their liberal elite: either jailed or dead.
A liberal movement with strong connections to traditionalists that are willing to discuss rationally about reform and the necessity of it is what is needed today in some parts of the Muslim world (mostly Middle East).
Economic woes do lead to frustration and anger, but their disappearance would not make for a happy and scrappy youth either. The change should come from within, and it shouldn't be focused (only) on the material side of things.
Of course. Reform has to be a full package, not just a free market. While China has a long way to go, the changes since June 4, 1989 are extraordinary.