Monday, September 08, 2008

The Problem with Prohibitions and Why Legalized Prostitution Should be Supported

I'm a libertarian - on the most fundamental level, so long as they aren't harming others, they should have the ability to do as they choose no matter how much I disagree with what they do based on my personal beliefs/moral code. Economics helpfully reinforces this view and history is replete with examples and results of arbitrary prohibitions like the war on drugs and booze. Oddly, appearing in the Guardian is the economic case (and moral case) for avoiding a ban on prostitution:

Before the government implements a ban, they should consider carefully that whatever laws they pass, women who have made a choice to sell sex to earn a living rather than to support a drug habit, or because they have been coerced into it, are likely to continue to do so. If men are criminalised for buying sex, the women selling it will be driven underground, making them more vulnerable to violence, with less control over what they do. For a government that has pledged to protect women in prostitution from exploitation, this could be a spectacular own goal.

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