Slate today has an article about a scheme in Ulyanovsk in Russia where the governor cooked up a scheme to improve the birth rates in his region. Any woman who would give birth on June 12 would receive a prize. One woman would receive a grand prize - an UAZ off-road vehicle. It's easy to imagine what happened next.
[...] On June 12, while Russia enjoyed its day off, doctors all over Ulyanovsk struggled to survive the most hellish day of their professional careers. The region's maternity wards, which usually stood half-empty, were suddenly filled beyond maximum capacity. Masses of screaming pregnant women seemed to materialize out of thin air. Stressed-out and sleep-deprived doctors ran around frantically attending to patients. Most doctors were forced to work multiple shifts just to keep up with demand.
When the clock finally struck midnight and the last bloody sheet dropped to the ground, the tally was impressive. Eighty-seven children were born in Ulyanovsk that day, nearly four times the region's average daily birthrate. With just a few prizes, Morozov's team had found a solution to a problem that has haunted Russia for the last two decades. Or so it seemed.[...]
By any measure (used as metrics), that was a grand success. But not all is what it seems. Read the rest of the story to find out what happened.