May 9, 2007

A Further Response On Prostitution

Rick Moran of Right Wing Nut House has posted a rebuttal to my post about prostitution at Heading Right. Rick argues that my argument about "commodification" doesn't convince him:

Libertarians can reduce all human interaction to either individual choice or the choice made by two or more individuals in compact. Yes a single, unattached man isn’t hurting anyone by going to a prostitute nor is a single drug addict with no children. But is that how you promulgate law? I think not.

And Ed’s human worth argument has a few holes too. People may not be “commodities” but we all have jobs where we are paid money for the skills we possess. Is there really a difference between being a good programmer and a talented prostitute? Each is paid according to their “worth” or whatever the market will bear. I agree with Ed that you can’t qualify sex and put a price on it nor can you do the same with a woman’s body part. But stripped to its essentials, we are either all of us whores for taking money for something we do well or whores actually have less worth than the rest of us.

Actually, I believe there is a difference between getting paid to produce material and services and renting out one's body part for individual gratification. I'll post an update at Heading Right later today explaining that, and address one particular analogy in rebuttal to my point that I believe is more on point. However, be sure to read Rick's thoughts, as it echoes many of the sentiments in the comments both here and at HR.


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I got a whiff of this exchange from Captain’s Quarters in the form of a rebuttal of a rebuttal.  In this exchange of rebuttals, they got very deep into the ethics of placing a value on personal services or something like that.  It was too heavy... [Read More]

Comments (35)

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 10:29 AM


How come conservative idiots can't understand it; when the law gets broken. But they're against the law.

Ya know, I'm very tired of this bullshit.

I've never seen a marginal group make so many mistakes. But become "hero's" to TAX EVADERS, isn't my shtick.

THat men use prostitutes? Well, consider this: HOW OFTEN TO MEN THINK OF SEX IN ANY GIVEN DAY?

You'd think men would be putting prostitutes on pedestals. But except for hollywood, where the only thing that counts, is bone structure. Do you know why this has never come to pass?

What a lawless bunch.

First, it would be a good idea to understand you live in a universe. And, not all laws, or what gets taxed, makes ya happy. And, I don't care.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 10:35 AM

You know, I'll give credit to the advertising agency that came up with the slogan for one brand of hot dogs, being better than the rest. Because this one brand appeals to a "higher authority." Which is a clever way to sell Kosher to goyim.

But that's it. Hot dogs are still made from meats you wouldn't want to know you were eating.

And, prostitution is like that, too.

How many conservative members of the pulpit can you identify; with tears running down their cheeks. Because they paid a woman to jerk them off? Hmm? And, the stuff that got paid for, you want to call for changes ... so it becomes "legal."

Good luck to ya, out there. More conservatives hitting the wall. We should develop a sound for it. And, it wouldn't be hand clapping, either.

Posted by TheConfusedOne [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 11:13 AM

Actually I think the best argument against legalizing prostitution is the "think of the kids" one. Unless the prostitute and/or customer are sterilized then there is always the chance that this "business transaction" can result in a life being created. This certainly goes far beyond simply the old "consenting adults" issue.

Posted by Michael Smith [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 11:41 AM

Nothing whatsoever justifies the notion that some individuals have a right to dictate to other individuals what they can and cannot do in a strictly consensual relationship between two (or more) adults.

It doesn't make any difference what the effect is on the individuals. Their lives and their bodies belong to them, not to anyone else, not to society, and not to the government.

Posted by [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 11:42 AM

This entire discussion illustrates the biggest weakness of the blogosphere: it's horribly superficial. Most commenters in the MSM - the ones worth reading, anyway - would have at least called somebody with some knowledge of the subject and, at the very least, cherry-picked their comments to support their position.

There have been fifty comments on the prior post, four (now) on this one, two posts from the Cap'n on this board, at least one on Heading Right. So far, there has only been one reference to actual data (mine, to the Pivot Legal study and to the Canadian parliamentary report). Everything else has been "I'm libertarian so it's none of my business." or "I'm morally upright, so it is." (my bias may show through the paraphrasing of the arguments!).

There is a huge amount of information regarding prostitution, much of it readily and freely available on the Internet for those who don't have access to University level social-science libraries.

Well supported arguments for, well supported arguments against, studies of the sellers, studies of the buyers, studies of the effects of the laws, studies of the effects of changes in laws ... all kinds of stuff.

None of it, seemingly, considered relevant.

Posted by SwabJockey05 [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 12:01 PM


I take it you didn't credit my reference to my own "survey" as scholarly enough to get credit...? OBTW, afraid you didn't "win". Sorry.

Posted by rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 12:04 PM

"I believe there is a difference between getting paid to produce material and services and renting out one's body part for individual gratification"

Unlike athletes or dancers? Or is that because they perform in front of lots of people.

As for disease and potential children, if prostitution was legalized and regulated -- as in the Netherlands -- those risks would be greatly reduced. And you wouldn't have pimps turning hookers into junkies just to keep them under control.

The question to ask is: Why should society sanction the use of force to keep people (mostly women) from engaging in sex for money, if it is done consensually?

Posted by [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 12:23 PM

SwabJockey05 ... oh, well, maybe next time!

I will say that I don't consider Canada, Germany or Holland to be shit-holes, despite their less ferocious approach to prostitution laws.

Here's another actual reference ... from the US State Department, no less, regarding the Dominican Republic:

Prostitution is legal, although there are some prohibitions against sex with minors, and it is illegal for a third party to derive financial gain from prostitution.

Posted by TomB [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 12:43 PM

I had to give it some thought, but not going into specific details (you can guess where am I heading) where would you place a massage parlor? I mean the therapeutic one for your back tension and wellness? Is it a legitimate service, like a hairdresser, on not? And what about the same massage, not only for your back but surely for your wellness?
Frankly, it is the same like with pornography, “I know it when I see it”, but try to define it.

Posted by [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 1:20 PM

SwabJockey - again!

OK, your survey showed a 100% correlation between "legal prostitution" and "shit-hole". So - without being mischievous or anything like that, of course, I took my own survey:


While adult prostitution is legal, various associated activities, such as operating a brothel, are illegal.


The organization and operation of a prostitution business is a crime, but selling sexual services is only an administrative offense. Prostitution remained widespread in the country and some observers expressed concern about sex tourism. In addition there were reports of prostitutes bribing police and of violence against prostitutes by police.


While the act of prostitution is not illegal, most activities surrounding prostitution are illegal. The Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA) criminalizes the selling, procuring, and exploiting of any person for commercial sex as well as profiting from the prostitution of another individual. Prostitution is not illegal when no third party is involved, it is not done in or near a public place, is not forced, there is no solicitation, or when the prostitute resides alone. Section 8 of the ITPA criminalizes the act of solicitation for prostitution, which has been used in the past to arrest and punish women and girls who were victims of trafficking.


Although prostitution is illegal, experts estimate that there were 1.7 to five million commercial sex workers in the country.

So the results of my survey show that, in three out of four cases studied, decriminalization of prostitution is correlated with becoming an important emerging economy and attracting a lot of US investment.

Posted by dave [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 1:58 PM

I just read an article in "The Journal Of Legal Studies" (June 1998, p.693) where the author uses your comparison of the prostitute and the masseuse, and says the difference is "primarily one of respectability", and not much else. She finds an even closer comparison, however. Medical schools often hire models for students to perform procedures on. What about someone who gets paid to be a model for a colonoscoopy exam? It's even harder to define the differences in those two situations.

Posted by dave [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 2:05 PM

In the colonoscopy model comparison, if the medical student happens to get some sexual pleasure out of giving the exam, the comparison becomes even closer.

Posted by TomB [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 2:21 PM,
To be fair think also:

Posted by abwtf [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 3:06 PM

So far, there has only been one reference to actual data

That's because data is largely irrelevant and where it is relevant we often see apples vs oranges or unknown hypotheticals.

To make a small sidestep: I could find dozens of data sheets on Drug legalization, deaths by overdose, cost of enforcement, cost of imprisonment, drug use rates in countries that have legalized, effect on farmers who grow the crops, etc

But at the end, it remains a question of principle. The first google find for -deaths drug overdose United States- says 17,000 people died from illegal drug use in 2000. If we legalized maybe it would go to 50,000 or maybe it would go to 5,000. We don't know.

The principle of telling 300million people they cannot do something because 1% or .1% or .01% may hurt or kill themselves is a question of what trade-offs we want to make between rights of individual and needs of society. Studies don't amount to much at that point because the line some draw will be different from what others draw and consequences aren't always as easy to rank. Effects of legal prostitution are much more difficult to measur than number of deaths from drug overdose, for example.

Just because some people can't handle drugs or gambling or gets caught in prostitution for bad reasons doesn't mean government should prevent others from making that choice.

Posted by Mark G [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 3:39 PM

In reality, all criminal prohibitions are nothing more than the majority's (or ruler's) imposition of its values. In a mainly Christian or Islamic country, that majority may feel it is imposing God's values, not merely their own. The validity or not of such beliefs however does not change the fact that the majority is imposing its values. A libertarian utopia would be no different: the majority would be imposing its value judgments supporting private property and individual autonomy. There may be good reasons for agreeing with those values; I certainly do. But as a good Marxist could explain, some folks think those values are as wrongheaded as libertarians would find religious restraints on personal liberty. The problem with Lawrence is that the majority rejected the imposition of majoritarian moral judgments -- based on subjective majoritarian judgments in favor of (sexual) liberty.

Posted by SwabJockey05 [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 3:53 PM



But I wouldn’t use the State Department’s country summary as the gospel. Have you any process experience with the official “review” of those documents? I think you’d be surprised by the lack of expertise of the worker bee assigned to review those reports (JO)…the first one I ever read was one they asked me to review for accuracy!!

Just because the State document says it’s “legal” doesn’t mean that it is…also I take it you're being facetious when you say US authorities “ferociously” prosecute hookers? Especially if you compare how US authorities prosecute other “crimes” relative to many of the countries you listed. If not, I don’t think you know what it’s like to be “ferociously” prosecuted.

I’ll give you the “touché” on the argument…given the fact that there are many shades of grey involved in terms like “legal” or “shithole”. But I won’t give you the nod on the manner in which your “survey” was conducted. As I said before, mine was an in-country “hands on” survey….sounds like yours was a google survey…

Without making too light of this topic, I still think posters are most emotional about topics in which they feel they have a “dog in the fight”. I’ve never made a business deal with an American prostitute…neither my sister, my mother nor my wife are prostitutes. Therefore, I don’t have a dog in this one. “Legalizing” prostitution doesn’t come close to making my radar screen. I guess if you Johns, pimp-wannabes and slavers out there want to put this at the top of your wish list…yawn…go for it.

Posted by Living History [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 4:29 PM

Sorry, but I don't buy your comodification or individual gratification arguements...

Should we outlaw spa masseuses or personal trainers because they provide "physical gratifiction" (albet non-sexual) for cash? Is the visual gratification of a ballet dancer some how more respectable than the tactile work of a prostitute? It seems to me that absent some medieval notions of women's sexuality as property and a heavy dose of religious social control, we might actually have prostitutes who could openly practice sexuality as skilled art as hetera or geisha...rather than furtive couplings of sexual criminals as is currently the case in 49 of the 50 states.

Posted by Mark G [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 4:46 PM

I support laws against prostitution, but Living History is right -- talk about "commodification" evades the question. Every society has differrent rules about which 'personal services' are 'decent' and thus legal. The term 'commodification' does not help decide which is which; it is merely a label reflecting the writer's personal view that prostitution isn't decent.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 5:01 PM

Oh, like you have to "study" 55-mile-per-hour laws, to know it turned most drivers into law breakers.

Now, what do you study, when you're studying prostitution? The best place to look would be under a microscope. Since most men, through the ages are willing to pay for sex. They only "look" after the pimple grows.

Do you know why "clap" became a popular name? There are things people didn't speak of; but could make a sound happen. To let you know the man with the erection, has lost his blood supply to his brain.

God set it up that way. So you have this ancient story of Adam, with his dick out. And, eve. With her apple. I don't blame her for "selling intelligence." She'd have been much happier, though, if she kept the apple's secret to herself. Just sharing the knowledge with the snake.

Because the snakes are now credentialed. They may have lost their legs in the earliest of stories; but their bullshit keeps tracking their reputations for them, just the same.

As to the marketplace? You need rules? The rules should protect as many in the group as possible. People who prefer to ride their motorcycles through life without helmets?

Well, that's what the word "scoff-laws" are for. And, from those helmet-less riders who have accidents? That's what doctors in ER's call "donors."

In prostitution, however, nobody is donating anything.

And, go ahead. Dream of legalizing it, so you can tax it; and you still see a bunch of wommen steaming mad that you're applying "waitressing" rules to their income.

Nope. You can't fool me.

Prostititution isn't in need of "study."

But they get more wommen "in it" if the wommen have no other chances at education.

Jimmy Rogers has written wonderful books about personal journies he's taken around this globe. To show how bad things were in Eastern Europe; where people prostitute themselves for food; he wrote. That he was amazed. As he was driving into countries. That even though his wife was with him in the car. Women at the side of the roads would lift their skirts above their waists, showing off what ccould be "had" (or tasted) for a pitance.

How did the russian bear do so much harm to economies?

So far? If you've followed textbooks telling you that prostitution is "romantic," you've been misled.

But remember Robin Williams' rule. Don't make a commitment when your thinking cap is hard as a rock.

Of course, there's ONE side-effect to "legalization" that should be mentioned. All those surmons that would go flying out church windows.

But I don't think there's cause for worry. Not yet.

Posted by Greg Brown [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 5:03 PM

I really don't understand the arguments that hiring a prostitute for her "body part" is any different than hiring a circus strong man for his physical attributes. We didn't pay to see Mohammad Ali in the ring for his prowness at reciting Shakespeare. For physical gratification? Won any Unreal Tournement games lately? What exactly do we take away from an evening out to a fine restaurant and a good movie, play or musical?

The argument that prostitution is illegal? That's a laugh. It used to be illegal in this country to help slaves run away. It one time it was illegal to consume adult beverages.

The slavery thing, though, that really sets my hackles rising. Certainly there are prostitutes who are virtual slaves. I know a lot of my coworkers in IS were wage slaves too, living from paycheck to paycheck. A slave is someone legally bound in their position; you know, like someone who's signed a recording contract. I doubt if the girls who worked for the D.C. Madam were slaves, or the ones who worked for the Mayfair Madam or any of the other madam's who run such establishments.

Morality aside, it's time we took a national look at the laws concerning gambing (didn't that used to be illegal too?), prostitution and drugs and have a debate about what would be the consequences of business as usual or making changes. And if there was a national consensus we could pass laws making the changes and eventually we'd be as accepting of legalized sex, gambling, sex, drugs and sex as we are of buying a six pack of Bud Light.

Posted by Jim M [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 6:19 PM

By the way, in addition to Germany, the Netherlands and Brazil, prostitution is also legal in Canada (at least Ontario), New Zealand, Australia (at least some states), Japan (for some activities), Switzerland, Norway, Costa Rica, the UK and Denmark, subject to some restrictions and limits. It's also legal (as I think everyone knows) in parts of Nevada.

Posted by Count to 10 [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 6:23 PM

Yes, there is definitely something missing from these arguments. Or, perhaps it is a contradiction we don't quite realize. Like a discontinous function, we approch the same point from different directions and get different answers for its value.

Gerenerally, this is all a strong indication of a flawed assumption.
Not that I have an answer yet.

Posted by Dishman [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 6:46 PM

Not all who are single are that way by choice.

There is a pain in involuntary abstinence.

I know there are those who would consent to ease my pain, without any harm I can discern, save that it would break the law. This presents me with a stark choice between enduring my pain and breaking the law. Is The Law, then, part of my torment? If the price of obeying the law is higher than the price of breaking it, why should I obey?

I know others face the same dilemma. Each time the questions are asked, The Law itself is weakened.

Posted by viking01 [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 10:01 PM

In the early 1980s medicine detected something which was killing patients whom were primarily homosexuals, prostitutes and users of illicit injectable drugs. It was realized that these patients were dying of comparatively minor infections healthy persons could readily fend off. They didn't know what it was so the named it AIDS until eventually , after several years, they realized it was viral in origin, found indicators they could test for, and renamed it HIV. After several more years they found some drugs which could slow its progress yet, like most viral diseases the treatment was supportive until the disease went into remission or completed its course of action, with HIV usually a lethal one. Other diseases, often sexually transmitted and equally insidious initially, such as Hepatitis C can present similar debilitating results. Various other STDs like chlamydia can sterilize. Silently.

Before antibiotics syphilis, if it progressed to the third stage resulted in madness and then death. A heavy penalty particularly if one caught it from a careless spouse who ignored or was ignorant of the first two stages of the disease. Therein lies the danger. You can test for and perhaps treat what is known but cannot test for what is unknown. I knew two friends who died from AIDS. Both were hemophiliacs who got it from clotting factor. There was no test for donor blood at the time just as there was no test for their having acquired the disease at the time. It was not know that they had it until a means of detecting it was invented.

Part of the problem with disease is that new ones crop up every once in a while which aren't understood, where science often lacks a means of detecting the disease until a considerable length of time has passed, drugs to combat the disease are eventually developed and eventually drug resistant strains of the disease(s) appear. That's happening already with resistant TB, resistant gonorrhea and is typical of mutable viruses such as HIV which were difficult to detect because of their changeable nature.

So, like the laws against prostitution of past centuries intended to protect against the unknown, and often initially undetectable diseases the current laws do limit transmission somewhat except in places where monetary influence or organized crime (e.g. Las Vegas) trump enforcement or statute.

As a Libertarian in many ways (excepting this topic and that of mind-altering drugs), I anticipate the "they'll do it anyway" argument. Certainly many will do so particularly in an environment such as the parent who gives birth control to their children because they presume their children cannot discipline themselves either. No less than the mind altered by mind altering drugs thinks that everything is just fine until a clinician or barred metal box informs them of the harsh reality that everything isn't fine after all.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 10:06 PM

Even when you were forced to drive 55 miles per hour; you had a revenue stream, and an arm of the law that got hired to give out tickets on freeways.

All governments, by the way, according to Thomas Paine's analysis, "are evil." But societies can't do without them.

And, how can you compare the TINY, to the LARGE? We're an enormous country. While in Europe, the places mentioned where "prostitution thrives," are also the places that held the carnage of world wars. And plenty of wars before that, too.

Besides, they run "elite" systems.

What's in place, now, works for most people. And, those who want to use whores; like men traveling out of town. Can get the gal sent right up to their room.

The best story I heard? A dad opened the door, and found his daughter standing there. Dad got a heart attack. Guess the "thrill" wasn't quite what he expected?

Vegas, started by the mob, really; does have prostitution that's legallized. Not near schools, as far as I know.

And, the other differences for us? Lots of our kids know more about sex, at a younger age, than their counterparts did "back in the old days."

A man can't get a date? He can still go to the movies. There's really no reason to provide a trade for the underworld.


Just because people break the laws, is no reason to stop the laws, ya know?

As the old rabbi said. The reason there are laws is that you want to civilize people. And, without the laws, they'd be depraved. In the Biblical tradtion it wasn't easy to be a Jew. It was as if there was a message "he loves you no matter what you do." Because that's a false message. Where words become cheap.

Nothing wrong with assumptions. Just don't bet the farm on them, okay?

Posted by [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 9, 2007 10:22 PM

SwabJockey05: But I wouldn’t use the State Department’s country summary as the gospel.

Well, neither would I. But it seemed like a reasonably Neutral & Reliable Source for factual content, as good as any.

also I take it you're being facetious when you say US authorities “ferociously” prosecute hookers? Especially if you compare how US authorities prosecute other “crimes” relative to many of the countries you listed. If not, I don’t think you know what it’s like to be “ferociously” prosecuted.

Well, not as ferociously as many (deemed) crimes in Russia & China, certainly.

But from what I understand, it is a reasonably common law enforcement tactic in the States to rent a hotel room, call a girl over and when there are just two people in the room, to make an explicit offer of money for sex. If she agrees, the closet door opens. Gotcha! Ferocious enough for horseshoes, anyway.

We've all got hobby-horses. Those in the Canadian parliament who have been pushing the issue are (mostly) either women or openly gay ... too embarassing an issue for straight men! I think sixty dead women in Vancouver is reason enough to change laws that don't accomplish their purpose anyway.

Posted by Rose [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 10, 2007 12:16 AM

Actually I think the best argument against legalizing prostitution is the "think of the kids" one. Unless the prostitute and/or customer are sterilized then there is always the chance that this "business transaction" can result in a life being created. This certainly goes far beyond simply the old "consenting adults" issue.

Posted by: TheConfusedOne at May 9, 2007 11:13 AM


It gets much worse than THAT as any stroll down a Black Hole makes ultimately clear - it isn't only the children who are conceived in those hellacious encounters - it always widens the scope of what the humans involved ultimately demand in gratification in "crossing the line" - with child prostitution, and drugs, and lots of other nasties that bleed into the surrounding community and endanger the healthy lifestyles of our posterity.

They forget that most people who go to prostitutes do so because what they are buying, the ladies who are the pillars of the community, the nest buildiers of our families, are not selling, as wives and mothers and arbitors of the Social standards - such as sadism, masochism, torture, multiple partners, and other bizarre behavior.

I also like the way they are ignoring the kind of crimes that have to be dealt with in those areas of town on a regular basis, and legalizing prostitution won't put those other crimes into different neighborhoods from the prostitution.

Prostitution throughout the history of mankind is found in the small corners of society where deep crimes against humanity take place - it NEVER naturally gravitates to the sections of town where those who are trying to preserve a viable nesting ground for Posterity are fighting for positive influences and forces of protection for the children and the home.

Prostitution is an enemy of the family.

The purpose of the community is to support the Family.

Without the Family, the Community has no viability.

When the Community begins devouring the Family, the Community ceases to have any reason to exist.

Posted by Rich [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 10, 2007 7:30 AM


Legalizing prostitution is not going to change anything as far as the family is concerned. If the marraige is solid husband will not look for side action. You don't think that married men don't get hookers now? I haven't seen data,but, I doubt prostitution would be in the top ten of any reasons for the dissolution of the family.

Posted by Harleycon5 [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 10, 2007 7:39 AM

I do agree on some fronts of Libertarianism in regards to Liberty on most things, however this is where they go astray. Women are a commodity to be bought and sold? Surely the Libertarian hardliners will use the tired, old "its their own choice" but intellect tells us this is mostly not true. As I stated in an earlier blog, becoming a prostitute is not something that people go to college for. Child molestation, physical abuse, drug and alcohol use, abusive boyfriends/husbands, and pimps all push women to the "choice" of selling their bodies. Is that ethical? Far from it.
How far a leap is it for us to compare the misuse of women in the Islamic world where women are misused, raped, treated like livestock, and what would be our own system of the trained indenture of abused women to feed a corporate world of porn and prostitution? Frankly, this would be a brave new world I would not like to visit.

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 10, 2007 8:28 AM

Show me a politician in America who is going to sign up to the "legalize prostitution" movement, and I'll show you some fringe loon, who spends his days handing our pamphlets on street corners. Pamphlets that no one reads.

Not going to happen. This is not an issue that more than a small percentage of people think about or care about, and it certainly isn't going to attract "swing" voters.

A movement like this takes a leader. Who wants to be the guy who "fought to legalize prostitution"? Who wants that as their legacy?

Posted by Jim M [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 10, 2007 10:03 AM

I don't know, NoDonkey. Didn't Reagan run on "reducing taxes and government"?

I think a smart politican could run on "repealing the ban on Internet gambling and other unneeded laws" if a small reduction in taxes was paired with this.

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 10, 2007 10:13 AM

"I think a smart politician could run on "repealing the ban on Internet gambling and other unneeded laws" if a small reduction in taxes was paired with this."

Perhaps. Who would have thought that slot machines would have been legalized in so many states? And it's pretty much a given that now that that foot is in the door, the rest of casino gambling will follow.

While your proposition would be popular overall, what matters is who actually votes.

Elderly people vote in droves, and they don't care about Internet gambling. They don't want to hear politicians talk about the Internet.

Maybe once the baby boomers become the majority of senior citizens.

Posted by Earnest Iconoclast | May 10, 2007 4:41 PM

I agree that it probably won't happen but...

1. It's legal for a woman to have an abortion.
2. It's legal for a woman (or man) to have sex with someone for no reason or who they don't know or care about.
3. It's legal to pay someone to have sex as part of a performance (movies, in particular).
4. It's legal to pay someone to escort you somewhere or give you a massage.
5. It's legal to pay someone to do hard, unpleasant labor that you don't feel like doing.
6. For some reason, it's legal to pay two people to beat each other up even though battery is a crime and you can't ordinarily consent to it.

So why is it illegal to pay someone to have sex with you? I can go to a bar and pick up some woman and have meaningless sex with her and kick her out in the morning but if I pay her that's a crime? I'm not saying it's a good idea, in fact, it's a bad idea to have meaningless sex with strangers. But the minute I turn it into a business transaction, which might actually make it less risky and at least more honest, it becomes a crime? That's just goofy.

And then there's the whole issue of prostitutes still doing business even though it's illegal, only they have no recourse when they are abused by their pimps or their customers. And customers have no recourse if they are abused by their prostitutes.

But there's no way it would be legalized given the current climate where strip clubs are being regulated into nonexistence with rules about touching, distance, location, etc... all changing arbitrarily.

Full disclosure: I have never hired a prostitute, stripper, etc... I have no desire to. I have been to one strip club and have no desire to go back. So I have no personal stake in the matter.

Posted by Dishman [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 10, 2007 5:11 PM

What's in place, now, works for most people. And, those who want to use whores; like men traveling out of town. Can get the gal sent right up to their room.

That is exactly the hazard to The Law that I was referring to. We have a system in place that "works" because the law is easily broken. Either have a law, or don't, but don't say "we'll have this law but not really enforce it". That opens the door to both lawlessness and arbitrary enforcement.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 11, 2007 12:13 PM

You need to know the difference between something being legal (but you don't like it). To something be ILLEGAL. And, with what the Supreme-O's would call STARE-ING RIGHT INTO YOUR DICES. Because prostitution isn't called the "second oldest profession fer nothin.) What's the first? Becoming a politician?

Prostitution never made it out there. Maybe? Well, why should women grow rich and then be able to own real estate? Or have other powers? So, MEN, actually came up with da' rules. Men, whom nature created to really, really, really like sex. A lot of the stuff they do, they do in toilets.

Now, every single law IMPEEDS something. That's what the rabbi's of old have said. The Bible laid down laws NOT TO MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY! But the opposite. To let civilization THRIVE.

Perhaps, the problem is that some men would like to use prostitutes; but they've been forbidden to do so, "from a higher authority."

Here, God knows.

And, you'll never live in a world free of rules. Or come to a place where every single rule makes you happy.

Let alone what happens when you're driving a car; and the sign says "55 MPH," while your foot presses the gas pedal, "because it can."

A cousin of mine once got a traffic ticket; when the cop car started his siren going, after she drove through a stop sign." NO, she didn't! She told the cop she was SURE SHE STOPPED. Okay, he said, "take this for all the times you didn't." (Ya know the cop broke the law doing that, don't cha?) Still. She paid the ticket. And, now stops at stop signs for a full ten minutes. Well, you can "correct" better than the law requires, too.

Prostitution is illegal "because it is." And, abortions are legal, even if you're not planning to have one.