It looks like Singapore is once again going to win the prize for Most Economically Literate Bureaucracy. Here’s what the Health Minister of Singapore has to say about human kidney markets:

Singapore is considering legalising kidney trading to help meet demand for kidney transplants, the city-state’s health minister said on Monday.


‘We should not reject any idea just because it is radical or controversial,’ Mr Khaw said. ‘We may be able to find an acceptable way to allow a meaningful compensation for some living, unrelated kidney donors, without breaching ethical principles or hurting the sensitivities of others.’


‘There are desperate patients out there wishing to live and desperately poor people willing to exchange a kidney for a hopefully improved life,’ he said. ‘Criminalising organ trading does not eliminate it … it merely breeds a black market.’

The piece notes that the Health Minister may face popular and even elite resistance. But can you imagine the U.S. Surgeon General saying stuff like this?

Now all Singapore’s bureaucracy need to win the gold medal for economic literacy crown is for its generals to publicly denounce conscription. Come on, Singapore – are you going to let a bunch of mush-headed Americans beat you?

HT: Alex Tabarrok