- Politics and Social Issues
Crime Is Money
Bob Marley Meets the Madame
This economy sucks. What’s the US unemployment rate these days, somewhere around 9 percent? One in nine people needing an income to get off unemployment, public assistance, or their parents’ sofa. Go ahead and call me a radical, but I have an idea. Not a new idea, but one that should be reexamined.
Legalize prostitution and drugs. Now.
Think about how many billions of dollars are spent in this country on the sale of drugs and sex. Now picture those endless stacks of $100 bills ending up in the pockets of the working class instead of drug lords and pimps.
Let’s talk about drugs first. Marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and the list goes on. Imagine the list of jobs created for those unemployed 9 percent by the aforementioned list. Farmers, producers, chemists, distributors, researchers, and merchants. Sell the stuff with a hefty tax right alongside the booze and show me the money. The drug producers would be required to spend a portion of their profits (I dunno, pick a number) on rehab facilities, which would be plentiful, have no time limit for a stay, and would be absolutely free. Sure, there would be a few rough years with a lot of tragedies while breaking everyone in, what with people going bananas and imbibing. Kind of like when the kids turn 21 and start hitting the bars. Ultimately, it would come down to letting Darwin take over. People are going to take different paths on their chemical journeys; they’re going to end up (1) using drugs once or twice on an experimental basis and lose interest, (2) become lifelong casual and/or controlled users, (3) morph into shivering, psychotic addicts, or (4) overdose. Some will succeed in rehab and get on with their lives, and some are going to kill themselves. So let natural selection do its thing and thin the herd. Get ‘em out of the gene pool without getting the police and lawyers involved.
Present laws would still apply. If you drive under the influence of anything, you get busted. Participate in some kind of drug-fueled disturbance or crime and see how you like detoxing in jail. Penalize the crime itself, not the drug.
Employers would have to get on board with this. They can’t be wasting their time and human resources firing people from failing random drug tests. Unlike those 4-drink client dinners where the alcohol is out the system in a few hours, most drugs remain in the body in at least trace amounts for a heckuva lot longer than it takes to sleep off a bender. So the boss needs to leave it alone. If Bob in Accounting is a good worker but likes to gargle with heroin on Saturday nights, more power to him, I guess. You can talk to little green men on your off time all you want, provided you show up to work bathed and sober. If it isn’t a criminal act, what someone does when they leave work isn’t any of their employer’s business.
Why are we so concerned with drugs? Are we afraid someone’s going to hurt themselves? Better ban your local hardware store then for selling chainsaws and turpentine. And haul that grocer off to jail for selling bacon and pastries, because that stuff’ll kill ya, too. And don’t even get me started on Big Pharm. Those prime time commercials with sunny people potting flowers and twirling on the beach… and then you hear the disclaimers. May cause dry mouth, tuberculosis, eyelid cancer, and the spontaneous growth of intestinal parasites with opposable thumbs. Thanks Doc, but I think I’ll stick with my arthritis and overactive bladder and take my chances.
Let’s put some people to work and replenish state budgets and save our police force for the rapists and home invaders, and cease the ever-increasing practice of releasing child molesters in order to make more room in the prisons for meth cooks.
And now for the Talk. Sex. Specifically, sex for hire. The need for sex, especially for men, is as great as the need to eat and find shelter, and some of them, for a variety of reasons, go through a lot of trouble to pay for it. It is what it is, so why criminalize it? I say make it safe and regulated and tax it like you would anything else. If prostitution were to become completely legal and tightly controlled, there would be no pimps smacking their hos. Bordellos would be run like any other business, only staffed around the clock with armed security, doctors, and counselors, and each working area would be equipped with an astounding array of condoms, antiseptics, and panic buttons. The girls (or guys, whatever) would be tested on a weekly basis for any and all social diseases and placed into quarantine until they’re cleared or cured. Or, if the disease is permanent, they would need to find another line of work or their continued services would come with a disclaimer and legal waiver (for those customers who either don’t care or have the same goodies themselves).
Sex workers would be required to be at least 18 (my preference would be 21, but if one can legally get married at 18 or get their limbs blown off in a war….), and would need a license to work. This license could only be acquired after extensive training in everything from basic first aid to birth control. Those more ambitious aspiring prostitutes could opt to pick a major and probably make more money in some sort of specialty work, achieving a Bachelor’s of Water Sports with a minor in Bondage. The point is to make it safe and smart for everyone.
Moral and ethical issues? How is organized prostitution any less moral than a 27 year-old gold digger marrying a 58 year-old creepy rich guy? By signing the marriage certificate, he is purchasing a convenient and obligated source of sex and she is having sex for money. And jewelry and nice vacations. I frankly find legal unions based on commerce significantly more disturbing than some lonely guy offering his last fifty bucks to a hard-worn former beauty wearing a hot pink pleather skirt.
Would I want my daughter becoming a sex worker? Of course not. But I wouldn’t want her to be corporate climbing sociopath or a fast talking realtor, either. Or a narcissistic lip syncing piece of trash on her fourth husband by age 30. But I digress. If you raise your kids right, odds are they won’t end up performing sex acts for money. Or idolizing Justin Bieber or the Kardashians.
Still fuzzy on the morality of it all? We subject ourselves every day to the indignities of our employers, insurance companies, public utility monopolies, and credit card companies just to keep a roof over our heads. How is it a CEO who ices twenty thousand employees only to restart their positions in third world countries so that he can buy that manmade island off Dubai this year is a sound businessman and yet a talented musician who hits the opium to enhance his creativity is a criminal? Yeah, riddle me that.
The bottom line is that this country needs to create some jobs and generate some revenue. And perhaps even more critical is the need for people to make their own decisions and live with the consequences instead of our government telling us what to do with our bodies and brains.
I don’t pretend to be a business woman, economist, or social worker. I also know I’m oversimplifying this whole notion. I’m just calling it as I see it. I say let’s get creative, rethink the definitions of crime and morality, and force the drug kingpins, gangbangers, and human traffickers into a new line of work.