Think Seattle's Garbage Strike Is Bad? Just Be Thankful We're Not in Italy

If Harbor Ave. looks like this in six months, then you can start to panic.
On the second day of Seattle's garbage strike, it's important to keep things in perspective. Does the fact that trash-haulers are hoisting picket signs rather than overflowing cans of our stinkiest refuse make the city look bad? Undoubtedly. But at least we're not Naples.

Back in 2008, the Italian city endured a year-long strike that only ended after a military intervention. The dumps were full, mob control kept local politicians from making a dent in the problem, tourist money dried up and the resultant voter frustration with the existing government, known as the "trash effect," was strong enough to sweep opposition candidate Silvio Berlusconi back into power.

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