Sweden's Prostitution Solution

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brianvds (May 19, 2016, 05:51:57 AM):
Looks like another nice little can of worms to open:

Sweden's Prostitution Solution: Why Hasn't Anyone Tried This Before?

http://esnoticia.co/noticia-8790-swedens-prostitution-solution-why-hasnt-anyone-tried-this-before

I'd be interested in hearing some views...
Rigil Kent (May 19, 2016, 08:58:49 AM):
An interesting approach: they erode the market until the bottom drops out.

If it is true that sex workers are forced into the industry by circumstances, then taking away the customer base may leave the sex workers in a pickle. Does the law maker offer an alternative means of income after shooing away the clientèle?

Rigil
brianvds (May 19, 2016, 10:23:18 AM):
An interesting approach: they erode the market until the bottom drops out.

If it is true that sex workers are forced into the industry by circumstances, then taking away the customer base may leave the sex workers in a pickle. Does the law maker offer an alternative means of income after shooing away the clientèle?

Rigil


According to the article, they actually did two things:

1. They greatly improved policing, so the the johns would be far more likely to be prosecuted.
2. They gave far better support to prostitutes who did want to leave the trade (a substantial number, according to the article).

So now it is perhaps not entirely clear which of the two worked best, but according to the article, it was only after they greatly increased the effectiveness of policing that prostitution levels declined. Perhaps that's hardly news: with sufficiently effective policing you can drop rates of any crime at all, whether it be prostitution, or hiding Jews in your cellar.

Personally I am very uncomfortable with this kind of thing. For one thing, if prostitution is a crime, surely it follows that both buyer and seller are pretty much equally guilty? And if not, surely circumstances play a role? What this law basically says is that any man who buys sex is automatically a rapist, but no woman who sells it is ever a whore. One-size-fits-all legislation, a recipe for miscarriages of justice. And what of the many women who DO want to be in the industry? What about their rights? What about the right to privacy?

It also occurs to me that if effective policing is now suddenly so effective in reducing prostitution, why would it not be in the past when the whole thing was illegal outright? I would assume that in those days it was mostly the prostitutes who were prosecuted, and I would agree that that would be wholly unfair.

In western Europe, their obsessive political correctness has taken on the dimensions of a witch hunt now, with various factions vying to appear the most liberal and enlightened. One way to do this is of course to demonize and persecute those who are perceived not to be. In the process they go through some very amusing iterations.

Just a few years ago, legalizing prostitution was seen as the liberal thing to do. Now they have amended it a bit. I distinctly remember a big noise some years ago when it transpired that in one or other of these nanny states (I think it might have been the Netherlands) disabled people got a subsidy from the state to pay for the services of prostitutes. Once everyone goes the Swedish way, I must assume that women's rights will start to trump the rights of disabled men! :D

And that's the problem, isn't it? With this stuff, you cannot win. For these people, society will never, ever be equal and safe and clean and beautiful enough, and time and again, the solution will be ever more intrusive and repressive legislation.

Here is a vastly more rational view on the issue:

http://time.com/3005687/what-the-swedish-model-gets-wrong-about-prostitution/

It points out something that I didn't mention: the Swedish model basically officially declares that women are like children, who cannot make their own decisions and are automatically relegated to victimhood.

One remaining caveat: I am not sure the article in the OP should necessarily be taken at face value. The source is somewhat suspect; it is apparently one of those magazines where anyone can write his opinion, and I am not sure what kind of fact checking is done. It would not surprise me if stats were massaged to fit ideologies.
BoogieMonster (May 19, 2016, 11:26:29 AM):
This is why I often prefer the libertarian angle. The people who want to make everyone conform to their norms always have to contort and bend over backwards to create new and interesting laws that have new and interesting side-effects and dubious moral implications...

So, drug dealers are not guilty because they were born poor after all and they couldn't help becoming drug dealers? it was all circumstance, right? They're the real victim here. The real criminals are the potheads! But isn't liberal thought now that drug addicts are helpless victims of circumstance who have a disease? Oh the circles you could go in!

I say: All drugs should be legal and it's my fucking business if I kill myself doing them.

Let whores be whores and let Johns be Johns, and instead try to effectively police RAPISTS and HUMAN TRAFFICKERS! And NONE of this prevents helping destitute women who need help. Imagine that, you don't need a law to help people!

I distrust people who want to ban driving after even a single drop of alcohol, because there are some hopeless drunks driving after drinking bottles full. You're not cracking down on the real problem, the real problem was always illegal. You're just taking harmless shit and making that illegal too.

brianvds (May 19, 2016, 12:10:22 PM):
So, drug dealers are not guilty because they were born poor after all and they couldn't help becoming drug dealers? it was all circumstance, right? They're the real victim here. The real criminals are the potheads! But isn't liberal thought now that drug addicts are helpless victims of circumstance who have a disease? Oh the circles you could go in!

Yup, the problem is that anyone and everyone can be construed as being a victim in some or other way. Those who didn't grow up poor grew up too rich and spoiled, and that's not their fault either! Which of these various victims get the sympathy is pretty much a flavour-of-the-month kind of thing.

Quote
I say: All drugs should be legal and it's my fucking business if I kill myself doing them.

Yup - what other people choose to inhale/inject is simply none of my business. Anyway, as both Prohibition and the "war on drugs" have shown very clearly, the draconian laws make things worse rather than better.

Quote
Let whores be whores and let Johns be Johns, and instead try to effectively police RAPISTS and HUMAN TRAFFICKERS! And NONE of this prevents helping destitute women who need help. Imagine that, you don't need a law to help people!

And, quite incredibly, we are in agreement again. :-)
I am all in favour of creating institutions that help those who want to get out to do so. Then it is really a free choice.

Quote
I distrust people who want to ban driving after even a single drop of alcohol, because there are some hopeless drunks driving after drinking bottles full. You're not cracking down on the real problem, the real problem was always illegal. You're just taking harmless shit and making that illegal too.

My brother is a lawyer, which of course makes me an expert on this issue. He made two points:

1. Going over to friends for a braai and having two beers, and then driving home, is normal behaviour. When you crack down on any alcohol in the blood whatever, all you achieve is to criminalize normal behaviour. You instantly create a whole new class of criminals, and in the process also erode respect for the law in general.

2. A substantial part of his job happens to be motor vehicle accidents. He tells me he has dealt with hundreds of such cases, Thus far, not a single one involved alcohol. Even speeding is a rare cause of accidents. The main cause is quite simply people who lose concentration and don't look where they are going. The law makers are barking up the wrong tree.

Another thing that is of importance here is the ever-present danger of bureaucracies acquiring a kind of life of their own, after which their main purpose becomes their own self-perpetuation. When that happens, expect laws and/or policies that will make the problem worse rather than better. After all, if the problem is ever solved, it obviates the need for the bureaucracy.

And thus we see greens advocating policies that worsen the problem of endangered species, and law makers and social activists that follow and/or advocate policies that will worsen crime and social/economic inequality. Here in South Africa the government has done everything in its power to prevent job creation, so that the voting sheeple will be forever dependent on government handouts. In America, where there is a private prison industry, this is a particularly big problem: they now have the world's largest and still growing population of prisoners, mainly thanks to the fact that prison and law enforcement lobbies ensure that ever more and more things are crimes.

One more point is society's general stupidity. Some problem raises its head. Society clamours for "something to be done." The problem is actually kind of intractable, but politicians and bureaucrats have jobs to keep, so they go after soft targets that are easy to catch (dope smokers, small-time dealers, users as opposed to manufacturers of child porn, etc). They then proudly display their arrest and conviction stats as proof that they are "doing something." In the meantime, the laws/policies actually make things worse, so society clamours for even harsher measures, so law enforcement goes after more soft targets. Rinse and repeat, and before long you live in a police state, like the Americans are apparently already doing. Land of the free indeed.

Nanny states almost inevitably follow the same route; the line between the nanny state and the police state is a thin and fuzzy one.

We can thank our lucky stars for our incompetent government - they can and do make idiotic laws, but thank heavens are too incompetent to enforce any of it! :-)


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