Sunday, September 20, 2009

Unitended Consequences: Egypt

Talk about unintended consequences. Egypt slaughtered all of its pigs and is now suffering from uncollected trash. The story is here.

For more than half a century, those collectors were the zabaleen, a community of Egyptian Christians who live on the cliffs on the eastern edge of the city. They collected the trash, sold the recyclables and fed the organic waste to their pigs — which they then slaughtered and ate.

Killing all the pigs, all at once, “was the stupidest thing they ever did,” Ms. Kamel said, adding, “This is just one more example of poorly informed decision makers.”
The whole story is worth reading for sure, and the lesson is very important. Especially in societies where informal arrangements are crucial.

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