Well, should your country (assuming it has not allready, and if it has, should it have?).
Here in the Netherlands, it’s tolerated. Not always, not everywhere, but there’s more than enough almost legal prostitution here.
By making it totally illegal, the authorities would have no control over that world, resulting in more drug (ab)use and all the other nasty stuff. Besides that, things like teenage (<18 years of age) prostitution can be (somewhat) prevented. That’s the reasons our authorities give us to forbid and allow it at the same time.
Here its funny. You are allowed to sell sex but it is illegal to buy. Quite a interesting law indeed. I am dubious towards completely legalizing it but I am also doubtful against completely banning it and forcing it even deeper underground.
It is a complicated subject.
In Denmark prostitutes have preliminary notice of tax assessment for self-employed persons (I looked it up, ask Tax what it is ;)).
Precisely. The failure of Prohibition in the US and the success of prostitution legalization in the Netherlands (success in terms of better control, better safety, and better order) are often cited by libertarians as historical evidence that the best way to deal with a bad thing is not to prohibit it, but instead to allow it and then to regulate the heck out of it.
The problem is that banning it is a very childish course of action in that all it does is deal with the supply and completely ignores, rather naively, the root of the problem, which is the demand. In the case of Prohibition, banning alcohol never squelched demand for alcohol, and people were willing to pay to still get it. Because supply had been cut and because there’s the cost of risk, but since demand didn’t fall with supply, prices soared. This meant that people illegally making and distributing alcohol had huge incentives to continue to do so. AND they are now suddenly flush with lots of money from the high prices. The tragic end result? The birth of organized crime in the United States. Drug control’s the same deal. Government cuts supply, demand remains high, so the only way consumption can be balanced with the low supply is by jacking prices sky high. This means huge incentives to South Ameican drug lords, traffickers, and inner-city drug distribution gangs. Huge amounts of money go to them as well. Meanwhile, the government is spending lots of money trying to fight drugs in Colombia (look at the amount of money the US sends to Colombia to help stabilize the drug-funded civil war there) and at home (think about the money spent on border searches, fighting street gangs, etc.), and it’s expensive because THEY (the bad guys) are flush with drug money. Now, alternatively, the US government could totally legalize all drugs and then just slap ridiculously high taxes on them. Suddenly, they now have control over the situation. The high taxes will have the same price effect (and thus consumption effect) as a cut-off supply. But instead of spending money to cut the supply and letting the bad guys rake in the money, the US government will actually be raking in lots of money instead from the drug taxes (basically shifting the profit from bad guys to the gov’t), which it can use for the really useful things like drug rehab and public awareness campaigns (like the “this is what your lungs look like” ads that so effectively wrecked the tobacco demand in the US). Unfortunately, most of the general public are too dumb to see past the paradox that the best way to fight drugs is to allow it, and so this is politically unpalatable even though it’s better in every imaginable way. The exact same applies to the legalization of prostitution; though not nearly as extreme, the same idea applies–it’s always better if you can face and gain control of the situation instead of just turning away and naively thinking that you can ban a problem.
I think it would be a much better solution to legalize prostitution rather than banning it. Like others have stated above me, the government can then tax the hell out of it and have some control over everything. The prostitutes could go through mandatory health checks and screenings every 6 months, or whatever. You would have to apply for a license to become a legal prostitute, so the government can cover you with their laws and screenings, etc. This could also cut down the cases of rape that happen all the time. There will always be the sick bastards that rape for the control factor, and sometimes as punishment for some perceived slight, but sometimes it happens when a guy is so sexually excited or frustrated that he cannot stop himself even when the girl is crying and screaming for him to stop. I know guys get raped too, but I was just using a general example. If these people could “get their pipes cleaned” on a regular basis, the testosterone drops and aggressive tendencies are curtailed. For crying out loud, prostitution has been around as long as people have. There will always be a demand for this! Banning it doesn’t solve a goddamn thing. It just forces them underground where it’s filthy and full of disease, not to mention dangerous as hell! Legal prostitutes would at least have a little protection under the law, but I doubt I will see it legalized in my lifetime, and I’m only 27…
I think that is a very sensible law, if there was no buyer, it would not be for sale in the first place.
Here in Edinburgh they piloted a scheme 8 or 9 years ago, the police basically allow women to ply their trade in licensed sauna and massage parlours.
The idea was to get women off the streets and into relative safety. This appears to have been quite successful. Unfortunately it has not taken the young girls or drug addicts with a habit to feed off the streets.
As far as I know the scheme is still in place.
When I was stationed in Germany as a Military Policeman - prostitution was legal - the ladies had weekly checkups and carried a license-
Interestingly enough - even though we had 1200 military within this city (Bremerhaven) we had an almost zero sex crime rate!!!
Why - because you could easily and legally obtain relief for your carnal desires-
Therefore - I endorse the legalizing of prostitution-
Then, Mike, I imagine your favorite album of all time is Van Halen’s “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.”
As for legalizing it, seems like it’s a Catch-22 to me: if you legalize it, it might very well remove the 'I gotta do it because it’s illegal" attraction; however, making it more accessible by legalization… I don’t see that doing either thing is a real solution.
But solution to what?.. I’m not entirely sure that prostitution is a problem in the first place. It is because society says so and society says so because of the generations of artificial morals that we’ve built up. But I don’t see anything fundamentally wrong about it, and as a result, I don’t think that it should be government’s job to stick its nose in what people do in the privacy of their motel room.
With drugs and alcohol and other mind-altering substances, you get a negative externality because it tends to disrupt society (drunken driving/behavior, abusive behavior, etc.) if people overuse it. But prostitution in and by itself carries no negative externalities (and if you go with what Maphisto and Mike said, it could very well carry positive externalities by reducing agressive tendencies). IMHO, it is not consistent with the spirit of free government to have people at the top playing the role of Morality Police.
And I think you’re also missing a point here. The attraction isn’t “I gotta do it because it’s illegal” (nobody has been citing that as an attraction in this thread). The attraction is simple hormones, and unless you go around neutering people, I don’t think that will ever change, and the benefit of legalization (aside from it being the Right Thing for a free gov’t to do) is not so much that it removes the “oh, it’s illegal and I gotta do it” attraction (which I think is very minor in this case unlike drugs with youngsters), but that it allows the government to control and tame it.
Must correct you Dee-ehn… It’s legal when you work in a licenced whore-house. The hookers pay even tax and get healthinsurance from their pimps.
We call that progess, since it’s the oldest profession in the world…
Do they get taxed by the Cm
Code…, I wasn’t trying to get into the moral ramifications of it, nor did I have any intention of trying to say what any government should do about it. As far as my post went was to say "neither legalizing nor banning it provides an adequate solution… with my ellipsis having been “…that would satisfy everyone.” Had I desired to favor it, I could have mentioned two movies to support legalizing prostitution; had I wanted to show my opposition, I could also have cited a movie that would butress that side. Or I could have stated that yes, there is a solution, but it would be far more complex, although based on absolute standards. However, I opted to do neither and made a fairly neutral statement. I kept my response in line with Ben’s first post, using that as a guide. I don’t believe my post should have taken in any other way than along the lines of what Airhead stated, that “it is a complicated subject.”
Ah, okay. Thanks for clearing that up.
Just as easy to say that if it weren’t for sale there would be no buyers.
I don’t care, I never go there.
It’s already legal. They call it “dinner and a movie”.
Many governments perhaps won’t legalise prostitution because of links to more serious crime. Investigating officers may detain for prostitution - where they normally wouldn’t bother - until they have enough evidence to prosecute for a much more serious crime. The same can be said for minor drugs offences too. I’m no lawyer, but that seems to make sense to me.
Ahh, but is that a problem inherent in prostitution itself? Or is that a problem caused by the illegalization of prostitution? I firmly believe that it is the latter.
Crime rings form around pot distribution. But you don’t see crime rings forming around the distribution of beer or cigarettes (well, there were quite a few crime rings attached to beer, but that also happened to be during the time of the Prohibition in the United States; coincidence?). By abusing the force of law to shut off supply without cutting down the demand and thus criminalizing anyone still involved in the business, it drives something that is normally not associated with the criminal world to associate itself with the criminal world. Perhaps one of our Dutch friends can back this up; is there a lot of crime associated with prostitution over there? I would guess not.
Granted, the second it becomes legalized, problems won’t go away overnight. It will take time for those links to crime to slowly break away and for government to assert its control, but if you are worried about crime, then prostitution legalization and drug legalization is the BEST way to deal with the problem. It’s slightly counter-intuitive, yes, but it’s the lesson that history has been trying to teach us.
You can also get infections from working in hospitals, fighting in wars, traveling in the jungle, going to Africa, etc. It just so happens that some of the STDs (esp. AIDS) are rather nasty, but aside from that, diseases from sexual contact are no more unique than diseases from other forms of contact. And the risk of STDs is precisely the reason why legalization is important because it will allow government to enter the arena and impose standards, health inspections, etc.
I agree in many cases it would allow goverment to regulate, but not everybody wishes to use protection, or to agree to health checks etc. The chances of having unprotected sex as a prosititue and getting an STI are very, very high, far higher than the risk from doing any of the other things you mentioned, where the risk is relitavly low.
I am not arguing against its legalistation, just pointing out that it isnt harmless.