Diary of a Lab Rat, 2022/01/02
You can sell your stuff. That’s commerce.
You can sell your time. That’s labor.
You can sell your expertise. That’s a job.
You can sell your safety. That’s enlistment.
You can sell your body. That’s either unethical or ugly, depending on which part of your body, and who you ask.
Did you know that there’s no law preventing companies from paying people for blood? Their blood, presumably? The companies just think it’s tacky, and more likely to mean that people with literal bad blood will sell theirs, which would be a waste of time for the company. So the American Red Cross and other companies only accept blood as a donation. Or rather, they pay you in less direct ways, like with comfy long-sleeved shirts, $5 gift cards, or cookies and apple juice in the recovery area.
But there’s plenty of companies that will pay for the plasma in your blood. We haven’t made machines more efficient than the human body at creating certain configurations of proteins, so companies use living people as machines in the mean time. I’m sure they’d prefer to use machine-made plasma if it were cheaper, but ethically it’s not so much of a barrier that they don’t use living donors.
Why stop there? Why is it bad for someone to sell their kidney? They’re probably worth like 6 figures. You can donate your body to science. Why is it wrong to get euthanized, if you could guarantee your descendants like a million bucks in parts? I guess this is what that Will Smith movie Seven Pounds is about. Haven’t seen it.
It’s kinda fucked up if you start to do the math. Let’s say you’re someone who makes $40k per year. It would take 20 years to net $1MM. I bet if you’re healthy you could sell your eyes, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, eggs, uterus, brain, skin, and everything else for close to a million. Why work when you could just die instead.
Some people make a profession out of making other people. Surrogate pregnancy is what I’m talking about, obviously. Some people are body-part-selling gig workers and just sell their sperm or hair a couple times a year.
Yes time is money, but also you are made of money. How much of yourself you sell is just a matter of ethics and dignity and resourcefulness.
Further reading: The comic ADVANCED PAIN TUBE SR300 PRO by Madeline Miyun https://madelinemiyun.com/paintube