Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Why Do We Hate Market, But Trust Politicians?

From Slate:

The price of human eggs is rising. Average U.S. donor compensation: $4,217. One clinic says it pays $15,000. Students at top colleges are being offered "tens of thousands of dollars." An expert quotes high-end fees of $50,000 to $60,000. Reasons: Low supply, high demand. Maryland legislators are proposing to ban egg sales. Objection to rising prices: The money is becoming so good that potential donors can't rationally evaluate the health risks. Rebuttals: 1) Drop the paternalism. 2) The price is set by supply and demand, so if you limit the price, you'll make it impossible for some couples to get eggs and have kids.

The money is becoming so GOOD that donors can't rationally evaluate? Why not, the money is becoming "good" because some couples are desperate to have children, and
we are preventing transactions that, if allowed, would produce enormous increases in human welfare without harming ANYONE?

(Nod to Anonyman, who has excellent gluteal bulges, all on his own. No, really: they're real. I've felt them.)