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Prostitution: Why Government Isn’t The Answer!

Editorial by Jeff Hunt

In the past, when I have argued the case for the decriminalization of prostitution, “morality” has always been the greatest hurdle.

This is a good thing!

If people were not moral I would be afraid to leave my home, so it is fortunate that most people are moral.

Most people wish to live peaceful lives with one another and tend to frown when they see an injustice.

Those people recognize the hazards associated with prostitution, both for the prostitute and their client.  It is people’s general concern for their fellow man which prompts them to shun prostitution.

That’s why it’s very important for me to address the “morality” of prostitution before making an argument for its decriminalization. I want to make it very clear that this article is not intended to argue the “morality” of prostitution, but only to lobby for its decriminalization.

There are many activities which much of the population would consider immoral, yet are perfectly legal. For example, many (not all) Christians believe it to be immoral to get divorced. Yet, divorce is perfectly legal in this country. Likewise, there are many that6 believe gambling to be immoral, yet many States sponsor their own game, in the form of a lottery. Gluttony is also considered immoral in many religious circles, but as it stands today you are perfectly free to stuff your face with as much chocolate cake and red meat as your heart can take.

Using the force of government to alleviate the problems associated with prostitution is not the answer; it causes even more problems than it solves.

Governments do not operate like non-profits. Governments do not make suggestions to individuals on how to live their lives, nor do governments provide support groups or outreach programs where people can go for help; rather they use coercion in order to force people to comply.

When the police prosecute individuals for the crime of prostitution, what happens?  These individuals are either sent to jail or fined heavily. Either way their lives become ruined. In the case of imprisonment, family structures are destroyed, often times beyond repair.

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, an individual could be slapped with a permanent criminal record which would make it increasingly diffi cult for them to get a decent paying job later on in life.  Clearly the inability to obtain such a job greatly inhibits an individual’s chances of becoming a productive member of society.

Furthermore, as resources are poured into the enforcement and prosecution of non-violent crimes such as prostitution, fewer resources are then available for the enforcement and prosecution of violent crimes, such as rape, murder, robbery, etc.

Remember, we live in a world of scarce resources. It is only logical that every resource that is spent on the prosecution of prostitution crimes must be a resource that has been diverted away from the prosecution of other, more violent crimes.

I believe you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who believes that government enforcement of prostitution laws in any way reduces the prevalence of prostitution within a society. Keep in mind that prostitution is very commonly referred to as “the world’s oldest profession.”

We’ve lived with governments in our society for a long time and clearly they’ve done nothing to alleviate the problem of prostitution. So, what is the answer?

Think back to the era of Alcohol Prohibition in the 1920’s, although I’m sure there won’t be many of you who remember those times, but you can certainly read about it in history books and watch documentaries.

One of the things that you will notice about those times was that crime was rampant. This makes perfect sense. If governments pass a law which makes
peaceful citizens now criminals, then effectively all you’ve done was to create, out of thin air, a whole new "criminal” class.

In order for the government to deal with all of these new “criminals” it has just created, it must arm the police force and build more prisons in order to house all of these new "criminals.”

It is no coincidence that during Alcohol Prohibition we saw the birth of the Mafi a as we know it today. The social ills associated with prostitution (crime, disease, etc.) are only enhanced by government involvement.

During Alcohol Prohibition there was a sharp increase in the number of health problems associated with alcohol consumption. Because it was illegal to purchase or consume alcohol, no consumer-level manufacturers would go into the business. Therefore, there was an increase in the amount of alcohol which was produced on the black market. Since there was no quality control, no one could be quite sure about the purity of the alcohol they were ingesting.

This is very much the same situation we have with prostitution today.

If prostitution were allowed to be handled by the free market, there would certainly be quality control, which would mean far fewer sexually transmitted diseases.

Just think of a restaurant. If you knew that the local fast food place on your block had gotten three people sick from salmonella poisoning last week, are you going to eat there anymore? Also, if prostitution was brought into the free market there would be no need to “sell it” on the street. ! is situation creates a much healthier environment for not only the prostitute and their client but also for the community at large.

The solution for the social problems caused by prostitution is simple; remove the government from the equation.

Homeowner associations already have strict codes regulating what activities are acceptable within the local neighborhood. The same goes for business and property developers.

Do you really think that the St. Johns Town Center is going to allow a brothel to open up on its property?

Of course not, the public outrage alone would force nearby shops to close down. The problems associated with prostitution can be handled peacefully; there is no need to involve the government.

Remember, government is force.

That is all they know how to do. Whenever you turn on C-SPAN or even watch your local City Council meeting, all the legislators are doing is voting on whom to point the gun at.

It is my argument that individuals operating voluntarily with one another are better capable of handling the issues surrounding prostitution than governments are, who only know how to use force in order to solve their problems.


Jeff Hunt in the former Chairman of the Duval County Libertarian Party.  This editorial first appeared in the May 2010 edition of The Jacksonville Observer Monthly.

6 Responses »

  1. Indoor prostituion was legal in Rhode Island from 1979 til Nov 2009, we caught the Craiglist killer because YES CRAIGSLIST COOPERATED and gave the cops the guys IP address and cell number, AFTER the guy murdered the Boston girl he went to RI robbed a women and she dialed 911 and report it and it was caught. SHE DIALED 911 BECAUSE SHE HAD SANCTION & PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW. RI has never had a case of Human trafficking yet, before we were criminalized the cops had access to enter any spa, and adult entertainment business and check for id's to make sure everyone was of legal age and in the country legally, just like they do a strip club. They never bothered to check, but ran newspaper articles about how sad it was you could buy sex a block from city hall, and then they lied and said criminalizing consenting adults who meet in private was the only way to investigate human trafficking and yet still not one case in RI has ever been prosecutred for human trafficking.

    NOW BILL HR 5575 is trying to get hundreds of millins to CONTINUE THE MORAL WHICH HUNT.


    Do some simple research and you will see most of these human trafficking advocates do not provide any long term serives for women wanting to exit the industry, they spend the donations the they collect for victims, touring the country, lying to the media about the number of people being exploited.

  2. In the 19Th century, women were not allowed to leave their families until they married (with the exception of being a school teacher) and marriage was a business agreement between the family and the husband to be. Women were not allowed to go in public alone, or work, or own or even inherit property and of course they could not vote. It was legal to beat and rape your wife as the wife was now your PROPERTY.

    Then the 19Th century madams, who financed most of the railroads and coal industry, advocated for the right to vote for women. They were the most powerful people in the country and we criminalized them. Originally prostitution laws were created "to stop a women from showing her wares in public" It was not intended for THE MORAL WITCH HUNT.

    Ironically most women have sex by the 3rd date and then have the nerve to call sex workers whores. Or how about the women who do half the town, unprotected and even bring these strange men home where there small children live, and they want the RIGHT TO JUDGE MY MORALS.

    Then we created the MANN ACT to keep white women from fraternizing with the blacks. White women we still pretty scarce back them and they didn't want anyone else running off with them.

    All women negotiate for sex and no women would be having sex with their husbands if the husband did not provide and behave the way his wife expects him to. When the husband leaves the wife with a few kids to support and no money she may find herself becoming a sex worker in order to survive. Sex workers have the freedom of NOT BEING REQUIRED TO HAVE A SPOUSE in order to support her family.

    No picking up dirty socks for these women, no husband to nag at, and the JOHNS treat us like QUEENS. When you do not have sex with your husband for weeks and months on end, what do you expect. Some women won't even let the man look at porn even though they are not giving him any.

  3. Stopping the insanity:


    At the top left, you can plug in your zip code and find your representative's name.

    Once you know the name, you can click their name to go to their website and call their local office, or email them or you can call the House operator at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected with your representative's office.

    You can use the following, or you can use your own:

    "Hi, my name is First & Last Name, and I am a constituent living in[town/city]. I'm calling to urge Congress(woman/man) First and Last Name, to fight against H.R.5575, a bill introduced by Representatives Maloney and Smith that seeks to further victimize disadvantaged women and children under the guise of helping them.

    The bill increases resources for law enforcement to arrest and prosecute those who have turned to sex work to support themselves and their families, often these women and children are trying to escape situation of abuse, and they are only further victimized by the trauma of arrest and the inability to seek gainful employment with a criminal history of prostitution on their record.

    The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports slightly over 1200 cases of human trafficking were alleged over a 21 month period of time and only 10% of those were found to be valid, including labor, sex, children and adults, however anti-prostitution organizations disguising themselves as advocates for victims of sex trafficking, have greatly inflated these statistics and often present them without citing their source of information while encouraging support for legislation knowing the legislation has been proven to be harmful to these victims.

    These non-government organizations are further exploiting these women and children by fraudulently soliciting funds to help them through donations and attempting to defraud congress by cleverly disguising legislation which would grant them millions of dollars to help these victims, knowing those funds will be unnecessary because they are ensuring those victims will be arrested and sent to jail. For example, the results of the FBI's Lost Innocence Initiative, which is funded to rescue children who are being forced into prostitution, resulted in 69 children and 880 adults rescued and sent to jail from January - December 2010, none of which appear to have been consulted in regards to the mission.

    I recall a History Channel show on the History or Prostiuttion. The History Channel highlighted now the the Mann act was shoved through Congress on a bed of lies only to send the newly-formed FBI out on a moral crusade to find little or no victims. The early 1900s was the era of Congressional lying when they outlawed most all the drugs, prostitution, and alcohol. We are in a similar era now.

  4. The World Heath Organization submitted a report in 2005 to the United Nations, to address how to stop violence against women. They said all women and children need to be given shelter,basic services to include access to water, even in times of War and Displacement.

    Seems to me rather than continuing THE MORAL WITCH HUNT AGAINST CONSENTING ADULTS IN PRIVATE, that these do gooders who want to save us from ourselves would be concerned about these 500 women and children being raped by Armed rebels in DR Congo , or maybe since all countries of the United Nations agree to implement these services by 2015, and so far all the USA has done is thrown some hookers in jail, Stalked Middle Aged Women on line and then abused them during their arrests, hey call our employers and landlords as this is the Biggest Hate crime in America. Hating the sex worker just because she exists, is the same as racial hate, hating someone because of their sexuality or religion and LE encourages society to make these women social outcasts of their own communities. Do you think we will be safe if we become homeless and have to live on the street or would we just become a target for more rape and violence.

    If we are going to regulate sex workers, then we would need to regulate everyone having sex. Heath Dept studies already show sex workers have 80% less std's then the general public, we do not want prostitution legalized so the pimps will continue to exploit our teenagers,we only want to be decriminalized and be allowed to work as independents without harassment from Law Enforcement , we do not want to be forced to work in brothels and be regulated, and we want to be able to report violence and abuse against us. In Sweden they no longer prosecute the sex worker, instead they made it illegal to buy sex so only the John and Pimps could be prosecuted and human trafficking went down.
    In Rhode Island they created a loophole for indoor prostitution back in 1979 and it worked well til Nov 2009, wen LE lied and said they could not investigate Human Trafficking without this new law. We all know that is a lie as all they have to do is knock on any door and say they need the women to step out side and say she is ok and does not need assistance or they are coming in to investigate, this is what they do in domestic violence cases. Also keep in mind the Craiglist Killer was caught because after he murdered the girl in Boston, he then came to RI robbed a women and she called LE to report it and he was caught. She did this because she knew she had protection under the law in RI.

    This is all about morals and not about protecting women.

    Keep in mind this could easily be your child, mother, sister, aunt or cousin or best friend. Now does it make sense that LE lies to the public and rarely do they lock any of these pimps up for 25 years for human trafficking but LE has all the time in the world to stalk middle aged adults online, who are clearly not being exploited nor are they minors.

    I for one use to pay the newspapers 12,000 a year to run an adult ad and I paid the yellow pages over 15,000 for a escort ad. Craiglist only charged 10 bucks and this gave the sex worker the ability, to get upscale clients who where willing to pay a lot more.

    If we went after predators and pimps with the same ZEST as we go after the middle aged sex worker our children might be a lot safer.

    Contact your local rep and demand they not spend your tax dollars on the moral witch hunt, we all know by making the industry go further underground that were making it easier for the pimps. It is not OK for women to continue to be abused by LE and Society because they don't approve, what are we going to do next lock up the sluts in the bars that are just giving it away, or the NSA hookups or the swings clubs

  5. I read atricles week;ly of cops that abuse hooker. Boston courthouse clerk was only sentenced to 2 years when he admitted STALKING street hookers and then threatening them in the courthouse for sex because of their pending cases.

    PA chief of police engaged in sex acts with 13 different women and then arrested them all.

    Escorts are not only stalked by the cops who sometimes rape and abuse them. They are also stalked by serial killers, JOHNS who want to threaten us for free favors and then the discrimination we face daily by the public.

    It was just 30 years ago they we treated Gay's the same way.

  6. The FBI just spend 800,000 on a 3 day sting to rescue these kids. Nationwide they arrested 884 people 69 were RUNAWAY TEENS, 69 PIMPS and over 700 tax paying consenting adults who where looking for adult entertainment. I bet I can send cops into 884 bars and find 99 bartenders that will give 69 teenagers drinks.

    These 69 teen will be returned to there families or fostercare just to runaway again at the tax payers expense and the 69 pimps will never get 25 years for human trafficking , they will plea out to less than 5 years. The teens will not go to reform school or bootcamp or have any intervention even thogh each county has a juvinile court and a child services division, the PARENTS ARE NOT BEING HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COST THEIR UNGOVERNABLE TEENAGER, so why is the tax payer?

    Meanwhile we threw over 700 consenting adults in jail, many who are middle aged women, trying to escape poverty in the worst recession of the century, and we are STALKED BY POLICE, SERIAL KILLERS MURDER US. Anti Prostitution groups disguise themselves as Human Traffficking adovocates, and only want to keep us criminalized, to make us OUTCASTS OF OUR OWN COMMUNITES.

    Meanwhile we are creating JOHN SCHOOL"S so the men get to walk away with no criminal record so the only person JAILED IS THE VICTIMS OF POVERTY. I am sure being homelsess and living in the streets isn't much safer than being a escort!

    All over the world, they are getting it that, the law is what makes it so easy for predators to murder sex workers, and yet the USA can't protect its own women and children, because they have taken away our FREEDOM TO BASIC SAFETY, and as a society we are encouraged to hate sex workers, discriminate against them, shame them, and harass them and we wonder why are kids are learning to be BULLIED in SCHOOL,just look at our own HATE TOWARD OTHERS and we have the cops daily in the news abusing hookers during arrest, while in custody and even right in the court house.

    Anytime you run something UNDERGROUND, it makes it easier for the predators to prey. We have taken away SANCTION & PROTECTION from all WOMEN in the adult industry and even put OUR KIDS AT RISK, all over THE MORAL WITCH HUNT