A whisper can be heard to legalize prostitution. It is part of the decriminalization movement re victimless crimes. Not as loudly discussed. Heard occasionally as part of the discussion, however.
I believe its time will come. Sooner or later, I cannot tell. However, the movement will proceed as others have. Those that at one time no one thought possible. Such as a woman’s right to vote, women in combat, gay marriage, legalization of marijuana, transgender recognition.
Vocal arguments in support will claim such action as being better and safer for the ladies. Provide them with dignity. Pensions and medical coverage will be available. The right to unionize another advantage.
Whether true, remains to be seen.
If prostitution is legal, it will be an occupation as all others. Participants/employers/employees can be taxed as with any other business/occupation. The tax dollars involved huge..
Perhaps pie in the sky. Germany legalized prostitution in 2002. Turned out to be great for tax collections. Detrimental to the ladies.
I published a column in August 2013 regarding Germany’s experience. I republish it as part of this column. An eye opener.
Germany . . .
Biggest whorehouse in Europe
Germany has a propensity for coming up with ideas which appear brilliant on the surface. Ideas which will benefit Germany. Ideas that supposedly will benefit others they intend to do business with. Everyone eats!
In the final analysis, only Germany benefits. Only Germany eats.
The perfect example is the Eurounion which Germany was instrumental in conceiving and selling to fellow European nations. Each nation would be better off economically. It did not work that way. Germany benefited/benefits big time to the detriment of other countries. Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Cyprus being prime examples.
Germany came up with another plan which was to work to the benefit of a certain group. Prostitutes.
Germany adopted a law in 2002 which legalized prostitution. A simple one page law. Its purpose was to destigmatize prostitution. The ladies henceforth would be considered employees as in all other occupations. They were to have contractual rights with their pimps, the right to pension benefits and medical insurance, the right to unionize.
Prostitution was henceforth to be viewed as a voluntary occupational choice. The selling/rental of a woman’s body was no longer immoral.
The world’s oldest profession had come a long way. St. Augustine considered prostitution immoral and wrong. However, he viewed it as a necessary evil. Hundreds of years later, Germany gave it dignity.
What was the thinking behind the new German law? Was it really the welfare and dignity of the women involved? Or, was there more?
All of the above and perhaps more. Prostitution as a legal occupation became subject to taxation. Taxed nationally by Germany’s federal government. Taxed additionally by Germany’s municipalities. Pursuant to the law, the municipalities had the responsibility of overseeing the prostitution business.
Prior to the 2002 law, there were 100,000 prostitutes in Germany. Three years after its adoption, 200,000. Today, 400,000.
Competition became keen. Young ladies flocked to Germany. Easy money was in the offing.
The problem was too many got into the business. Most involuntarily, the rest by choice. Of the 400,000 present day prostitutes, 300,000 are estimated to have come from Eastern Europe. Primarily Romania and Bulgaria. Most brought into Germany by unscrupulous pimps who had now become legitimate businessmen. Promises were made that the young ladies would have a better life. Lies, of course. They unknowingly were forced into prostitution when they arrived. Threats and beatings became commonplace to keep the women in line.
Where economics is involved, matters come down to supply and demand. Legality brought with it the tremendous influx of new ladies to the profession. As evidenced by the 400,000 prostitutes presently in Germany.
Today, there are 3,000 brothels in Germany. Five hundred in Berlin alone. It is estimated that 1.2 million men pay for sex daily.
With so many women available, competition became cut throat. Prices for sex services suffered. They dropped. Dramatically. In 2002, the charge for oral sex and intercourse was 40 Euros. Fifty four dollars American money. Today, 10 Euros. Thirteen dollars American money. In many instances, less than 10 Euros. Whatever a lady can get.
A buyer’s market.
Package deals have come into play. There is a twelve story brothel in Cologne. Every floor and every room occupied by a working girl who must be kept busy. Hi rises are common in the German brothel business. The Cologne one offers the customer all the sex and all the alcohol he wants for as long as the customer wants it. For 50 Euros. Roughly $65 American money. Another in a different city offers all the sex the customer can handle in one visit for 50 Euros. These prices include multiple companions.
Germany has become known as the discount sex capital of the world. Obviously.
Tour promoters from other countries, including the United States, offer six-day packages. Business is booming. Thailand formerly had the distinction of being the sex capital. Germany has outdistanced Thailand because of it cheap prices.
Big business requires marketing to continue successfully. Brothel operators offer all sort of incentives. An afternoon discount for men 66 or older. A 20 per cent discount to the unemployed. Day passes. Rebates to golfers. Flat rates. Flat rates being the one price for all services for as long as desired described hereinbefore.
Prostitutes have been left behind. Those whose lives were to have been enriched by the 2002 law. There are no contracts, pension or medical plans. The ladies are subjected to significantly more abuse than before.
Business is tough. Brothel operators have become tough. The girls are required to service more men per day. Whereas most used to do 10 men per day, the number is now 20 or 40, depending on the brothel involved. Unbelievable! In the infrequent times they are not working, the ladies are kept crowded in small single rooms with one bed. No toilet facility, except down the hall.
Germany and the municipalities are not suffering, however. They are getting rich tax wise.
Germany’s federal government taxes a prostitute’s income. Brothel operators are also taxed. A flat rate per prostitute per day. Twenty five to 30 Euros. Note per day. The municipalities also tax. Acceptable conduct in the taxing world.
All this amounts to triple taxation. Not double taxation.
The tax flow dollars are tremendous. No source could be discovered which measured the federal government’s take. However, information was available indicating the tax income of certain municipalities. Astronomical!
Not everyone is inclined to voluntarily pay taxes. Tax avoidance is a universal game at every level and profession. Bonn was concerned the street walkers were not paying. Without a brothel operator or pimp, it was difficult to compel voluntary payment.
Bonn put in automated pay stations on the streets. Like parking meters. Each street-walker is required to deposit 6 euros a night. Nine dollars American money. Police keep tabs on the ladies. They cannot be arrested for prostitution as it is legal. They can however be fined for not having their 6 euro receipt.
Bonn’s cost for each meter was $11,575 American money. The number speaks for itself as to the tax dollars involved.
The Bonn street walkers are incensed. They consider the meter double taxation.
Bonn does provide a service. It has constructed large wood garages where the ladies can take their customers to do the deed in the privacy of a customer’s car.
The thrust of this article is not that prostitution is legal in Germany. It is legal in other places. Nevada, Amsterdam, and Sweden for example. The thrust is to show another example of how Germany came up with a brilliant idea to help a certain class. The help did not materialize. Never the less, Germany benefited. The class walked away empty-handed. In worse condition than before.
Germany did it with the Eurounion. It has done it again with the prostitutes.
Please Germany, no more brilliant ideas! No ideas! You are bad news!