Open Ended Questions for Debate. (1 Viewer)

pbaldy

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The premise of this thread, or at least the part I responded to, was "what laws would you abolish". In that context, I still contend that prostitution in and of itself is a victim-less crime and thus should not be a crime. I would say the same thing about the pack of weed you mention. Your well-made points are valid in the context of them still being crimes.

Here in Nevada, prostitution is legal in most counties. It is regulated, taxed, and the ladies are required to get regular medical checkups. To my knowledge there is no coercion; I've seen ads in the paper where the brothels advertise for ladies to work in them (and it is only legal in the brothels). Is there still illegal prostitution here? Yes, though in part that's because the brothels can't operate in the counties that have the larger cities, including Las Vegas.

I don't support prosecution of pimps and men who traffic in sex slaves. I'd just leave them alone in a room of armed mothers and fathers. :p
 

The_Doc_Man

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Paul, I also mentioned the word "still" because some of these crimes are being revisited.

However, a victimless crime doesn't exist. It is like a one-sided transaction. Granted, the crime's victims might be a diffuse population, but they exist.

Jaywalking? The victim is the jaywalker acting in a way to risk injury - and the person in whose way the jaywalker walks.

Littering? The victim is the community that is trying to develop a wholesome environment for themselves and their children.

We won't even bother with murder, robbery, theft, vandalism, assault, ra**, etc. Those victims are all too easy to find. But I'll admit that some crimes are harder to analyze to find the victim. Having said that, I'll also admit that the very question begs itself, since crimes are defined in such a way that if no one else is the victim, that diffuse entity called "society" is the victim.

Your point about Nevada and prostitution is actually in favor of my point, for it is the exception that provides counterpoint to the rule. In Nevada, prostitution is TREATED like a business of people getting something for something. In all too many other places, sex trafficking is a business run like a kennel instead of something more lofty. Nevada gives us the contrast against which to compare the seamy side of that life.

Part of this thread implies "what laws would you not abolish and which ones would you {create or} reinstate." I would make stiffer penalties for pimps, casting-couch directors, predatory priests and schoolteachers, and anyone else who uses a position of real or imagined power to prey on those unfortunate souls trapped in their sphere of influence. In a society where all are supposedly created equal (under the law), those who violate that concept are scum.

From your discussion, the Nevada prostitutes, being treated openly and above-board, would be either not violated or at worst only very mildly violated by their employment. The women trapped by traffickers, on the other hand, are clearly victims and thus put some doubt into the victimless nature of the crime. I'm pretty sure that even in Nevada, if a prostitute is NOT employed by a licensed and legal brothel, the law would not be kind to her.
 

statsman

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Prostitution is not necessarily a victimless crime.
Women working the streets who have to give up large portions of the money they worked for to pimps for example.
There is also the drugs related to prostitution. Many women only sell their bodies to pay for their habits.
 

Rx_

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"Prostitution is not a victim-less crime" implies it is a crime and uses a double-negative to express the justification for government to force the population to protect themselves from a threat to religious morality.

Taxes to enforce selective morality is the same as being pimped.

I don't appreciate the tax man forcing me to pay for protection of sexist laws enforced by unelected appointed officials. These same laws directly contribute to profit criminal activity and encourage law enforcement corruption.

More Direct:
"Prostitution is an obsolete sexist Prohibition" It's funding and laws should be abolished in any democracy or republic where women are considered to have equal rights.

Watch the new series "Public Morals" based on actual 1960's New York City police.

The police are the ones directly profiting from running the prostitution rings. The writers pulled actual police cases and interviewed retired police to make the stories as realistic as possible.

By the way, over 40% of college girls in the US have a "sugar daddy" to help with the obscene cost of college education and/or to pay Student Loans. Many women are selling their bodies to pay for that habit too.
 
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The_Doc_Man

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Rx, I agree that the language of the argument tends to contribute to the obfuscation of the origin of some of those laws and the so-called victimless crimes.

Prohibition was a prior example of trying to control victimless crimes - except they weren't without victims. By making it illegal to make/sell alcoholic beverages, the government exposed the people to rot-gut whisky that (probably) contained a lot of impurities. If I recall my distillation chemistry correctly, rot-gut vodka often had fusel oil in it because of the property called enantiomerism (means "two things that distill at the same temperature because they form stable combinations.") Whisky probably had a mix of ethanol (the good stuff) and methanol (also called "wood alcohol") which would kill your liver very quickly - if it didn't make you blind first. We could probably find other nasty stuff in other types of alcoholic beverages, but we don't have to for the purposes of this discussion. The point is, during the Prohibition era, there was stuff out there that would kill you if you drank it, even in moderation. The government finally wised up and made money by issuing tax stamps for each bottle of approved booze.

Now an idle thought: If the government starts to legalize prostitution, where will they stick the tax stamp? But I digress...

Back to the thread: Would you like to outright win the war on drugs? Use the old phrase, "If you can't beat them, join them" and start legalizing (but controlling the quality of) various controlled substances. Make more money off of the legal and "cleaner" drugs but drive down the price of the illicit (and usually poor-quality) street varieties thereof.

When we talk about the role of government to oversee and protect the general welfare of its people, which is better? To expose them to dangerously impure product that (a) won't be as reliable as the "real" stuff and (b) will be more likely to poison them? Or to control the quality of the stuff they want anyway and will pay any price to get?

Before you jump up on my desk and do a screaming howler monkey dance, please open your mind to the comparison with Prohibition. We couldn't win that war, either, until we decided to make it legal and just control the product. Then we got the criminals on tax evasion and controlled the violence that way. We found that we COULD NOT protect people from themselves - but we could at least make their personal form of purgatory less damaging. Isn't that ALSO promoting public welfare?
 

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