Recently, Egypt’s pro-American dictator, Hosni Mubarak, was forced to resign after 30 years in power, and forced to give way to a military-controlled government. Victor Davis Hanson has some interesting reflections on the revolution in Egypt at this link.
Earlier, we discussed the role of ethanol subsidies and biofuel mandates in increasing support for the Muslim Brotherhood, an anti-American group opposed to Mubarak, at this link. By indirectly increasing wheat prices, ethanol subsidies drove up unrest in Cairo’s slums, which are more supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood than they are of Egypt’s historically much smaller pro-western democracy movements. (Egyptians historically have spent nearly half their income just on food — more than that in the slums of Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt’s largest cities).
The Washington Post‘s editorial board and various columns in the Post, like one by Professor Tim Searchinger, agreed about the folly of ethanol subsidies and their role in contributing to misery and unrest among Egypt’s poorest.