BERLIN (Reuters) - With the German economy on the brink of recession, cash-strapped cities are resorting to slapping a "pleasure tax" on brothels to help balance budgets.
05-17-03, 10:28 PM
hey jerrek ,
sorry ,but itīs too much work to post ALL US-mistakes here ;)
I can just see this pimp doing tax forms.
05-18-03, 08:02 AM
Wow, you mean that the Germans have joined your close allies in the "coalition of the willing", the Australians?
We in the US spend much money attempting to suppress "crimes of consent"--gambling, prostitution, drugs, &c.--under the notion of Vice. (see "Vices are not Crimes: A vindication of Moral Liberty" (http://www.orgs.ttu.edu/campuslibertarians/library_spooner_vices.htm))
Yet vice persists regardless of its legal status. Ask a cultural anthropologist about the role of intoxicants in the development of civilization and society; it's sort of a quiet joke that asserts that shortly after settling, every society on the face of the earth turned to figure out how to get plastered. Carl Sagan, of all people, goes so far as to assert that hemp may have played a vital role in human social evolution as one of the first regular crops.
The point being that vice has a long history. In the Bible, prostitution pays toward the operating expenses of the Temple. Longshoremen who proudly tout that their trade is one of the oldest in the world will smilingly acknowledge that they are outdone by prostitutes.
Think of three sums of money:
- How much consumers spend on vice
- How much government spends combatting vice
- How much government could be making by acknowledging the impulses of its people and taxing vice senseless
Think about it: Higher and higher cigarette taxes for no real reason than to try to discourage smokers. In Oregon, the state health plan relied on smokers for its funding for a few years, at least. (When I left Oregon in 1996, if every smoker in the state stopped smoking, the health plan would collapse.) And the addicts, myself included, continue to pay out for our fix.
And then there's marijuana. Smoke it, eat it, do what you will with it. Right now we pay more for it than gold some days; in the end, a $40 bag would cost $30, be subject to quality control, and provide anywhere from $5-10 in tax revenues. Now stop and think: that's on an eighth of an ounce, just over 3.3 grams. Now stop to think about the revenues in terms of tonnage. Marijuana frequently ranks in the top 5 cash crops in this country.
Sex? Who the hell doesn't do it? Quite frankly, if you are buying sex, then I think a luxury tax is wholly appropriate. What about a lay from someone other than your wife isn't luxurious?
In the US, regulated prostitution would spell a considerable improvement in working conditions, and besides, someone needs to pay the poor (expletive) whose job it is to clean up the condoms, wrappers, and stained underwear from the bushes in the parks.
But hey ... when things get tough, people like to f@ck. And if there's a way you can tax it ... hell, go for it. With the economy in recession, service rates should go down somewhat, but the workers will see a marked increase in business to offset the lost revenues.