The Boston Globe’s Jeff Jacoby writes that the Steve Jobs liver transplant, and the fact that he may have put his name on the list of several states in order to ensure maximum odds of getting a liver, is a reminder of how horribly broken and dysfunctional this current system is.

What we need is a market mechanism to compensate and encourage organ donors:

No one would dream of suggesting that medical care is too vital or sacred to be treated as a commodity, or to be bought and sold like any other service. If the law prohibited any “valuable consideration’’ for healing the sick, the result would be far fewer doctors and far more sickness and death.

The result of our misguided altruism-only organ donation system is much the same: too few organs and too much death. More than 100,000 Americans are currently on the national organ waiting list. Last year, 28,000 transplants were performed, but 49,000 new patients were added to the queue. As the list grows longer, the wait grows deadlier, and the shortage of available organs grows more acute. Last year, 6,600 people died while awaiting the kidney or liver or heart that could have kept them alive. Another 18 people will die today. And another 18 tomorrow. And another 18 every day, until Congress fixes the law that causes so many valuable organs to be wasted, and so many lives to be needlessly lost.

The fact that we have so many people waiting for kidneys, waiting on expensive and painful dialysis, is proof of how bad the system is, since healthy people don’t need two kidneys, and since having only one kidney doesn’t increase your own odds of getting sick (kidney failure strikes both at the same time, typically).

Rather than delve into all the details of how it would work in practice, let’s just consider some common objections to organ markets, and why they’re all so