I was recently re-introduced to this idea, that once you interact with a problem, you can't only help, you have to fix it. This extends to problems no individual person could possibly fix, notably poverty. Hire people in a low-wage country? Boo! Unless you pay them an American middle-class wage, you're exploiting them. So if you're a Kenyan, hiring for a Kenyan hospital, I guess you're a monster? You certainly end up hiring a lot of your compatriots for (the low) market wages, which is... bad, I guess?

I'd like to state, for the record, that I've never hired anyone in low-wage countries. That's why they're all upper middle class now. Yay! I did it!

You might be thinking, wait a moment, I'm not sure that worked! Central Africa and South Asia aren't filled with upper middle class knowledge workers. Now, I admit, that's true. For some reason my policy of not hiring them has not fixed the problem. I can't explain it, given how loudly people denounce people for paying low wages, you'd assume just stopping would do the trick.

It's almost as if we should judge people based on whether they make a problem worse or better.

And as far as I can tell, introducing foreign, marginally higher-skill jobs into extremely poor parts of the world helps, at the margin. As much as we like to lament the sad poems of suicidal iPhone assemblymen, I assure you that the China that existed before their manufacturing boom was dark. And not just for the people prone to depression, but for almost everyone. When people died in poor, rural China, they didn't die because they chose to. They died due to gut-wrenching inescapable poverty. Now, it's possible for some to do well, some people face a challenge, and some people are still living in poor, rural China. People have more options. Now, the options aren't, for the most part, to become a professional model from Denmark or a French heiress. Many sort of stink. But it's better than not having any options. And the options keep getting better, the more we give people.