A 17-year-old Chinese kid sold one of his kidneys so he could buy an iPad 2. The story reads like fodder for an alternative-universe Tom Friedman column – or maybe just a regular Tom Friedman column, I’m not sure what the difference is. First world consumerism meets third world brutality! We’re all the same! But we’re all different! Funny little foreign guys want the same things as we do! But they’re still a bit backwards aren’t they! And it was all made possible by the interwebs! No doubt this episode is the perfect illustration of how the world is flat, or bumpy, or upside down or whatever that theory of Friedman’s is.
Meanwhile, expect Paul Krugman to pen a column any day now claiming that if Paul Ryan’s Medicare reforms are enacted, millions of Americans will have to sell their iPads to buy a kidney. You heard it here first.