On Saturday, Robin Hanson told me that he was going to blog a “rant” about Guatemalan baby-selling. As expected, Robin’s ranting is superior to most people’s carefully chosen words:
It is in general a good thing if willing women are induced by money to have babies families want to adopt. Not only do the woman and the family benefit, but the baby gets a life! Positive externalities don’t get much larger than this.
On my way to visit Tikal in Guatemala, my tour guide proudly noted how development agencies had helped the local village switch to producing art, rather than the usual exports. It seemed such agencies valued art production well beyond the income it brings. Their priorities, art over bananas over babies, are the opposite of mine.