Sunday, December 31, 2006

Moral vs Legal

The legislation of anti-prostitution laws has little to do with morality. Society is better without alcohol, but it is not possible to ban it. Some argue that legalization leads to taxing the income of prostitutes, which is not moral. Well, you can always make an exemption. But if they get full rights and full protection in return, it's very moral.

Sam brought out the porn star argument. Once in LA some providers allow you to tape the session, trying to make it legal.

Abortion is a little different. At the end, the doctors have to do it, testing their believes. Others voting on the issue are mostly based on their strong believes, as they are not affected directly.

Prostitution affects many other people directly, in particular street walkers and brothels. UK is a good example. One girl per apartment is OK. But before you know it, the whole residential building and even the whole street are full of working girls. Often the less desirable real estates are occupied. But that make it worse for the already underprivileged kids whose parents can't afford to move. Or, some girls can afford to buy a three bedroom house in the middle of a nice neighborhood, turning the backyard into a discrete parking space.

Zoning isn't practical. A concentrated red light district will be huge. If prostitution is only allowed in commercial zones, it will get similar rejections from business neighbors. There are always patrons who don't want to go in and out of a joint like a restaurant. They prefer discrete residential houses and apartments. Someone will cater for them even if that's illegal.

For the same reason, UK can't get rid of illegal streetwalkers even though indoor prostitution is legal or close to it. There are always somebody desperate enough to turn to illegal activities to survive.

In some Asian cities, the incall girls invade the high end hotels in convenient locations for johns. Management can't do much about it because it's legal. Even if you have the right to decline service for certain guests, you have to do the detective work that is hard for LE to do.

The no brothel policy is too easy to by pass. One floor for a hostess club. The other floor a hotel with a different owner, whose guests are mainly couples walking from downstairs.

I know it's a not in my backyard syndrome, but it's not addressed at all by Wendy. Does it bother anybody that your neighbor have a visitor per hour most of the day? What to tell your kids?

Well, you can use the lucrative extra tax to pay for a lot of things and get elected. To me this is just another form of eminent domain, where local politicians take properties against the wish of owners, with a fair market price determined by the courts of sort, also elected officials. The land isn't used to build schools or roads, but to sell to big corporations to build like luxury apartment complex. The tax revenue is then used to pay for a lot of social services. The Republicans/Conservative win because the big corporations are happy. The Liberals/Labor win because those rely a lot on social services are happy. The only losers are the middle class who lived in the same old houses for 30 years. This doesn't happen in other countries. When schools and roads are build in the public interest, the fair market price can be really good, the property owners are like wining a small lottery. Social security is almost non-existence, or funded centrally rather than relying on local supplements. Local politics has nothing to do with it.

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