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The hubby and I watched a painfully 80's film the other day (Night Shift). Once I got past watching Henry Winkler and Shelley Long fall in love in screamingly painful yet 80's trendy clothes (let's not even go into the young Shannen Dougherty or Kevin Costner issues) I started thinking about the movie and the premise it's based on.

What if prostitution were legal? What if the women and men who worked in this industry were given all of the protections that other workers enjoy? Does the moral stance against prostitution justify the outcome of making this industry illegal?

I don't have any real good answers to these questions. However, my gut feeling is that with legal stripping and the changes in marriage and divorce law that are starting, outlawing prostitution is a waste of time and tax dollars. Legalizing this activity would reduce the associated violence and risks. It creates new tax revenues by taxing transactions and income that had avoided the system before.

Of course, legalizing would probably not affect the incidence of abuse of minors, nor would it reduce the drugs-for-sex trade. But really, when my phone number was accidentally advertised as that of an escort, I'm fairly sure that the guys calling at 4AM weren't looking for just companionship. Why not let the government take money for something people are doing anyway and protect the laborers in the process?

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It is actually legal in Nevada. The prostitutes have unions, medical benifits, and pay taxes.

I didn't realize that. Thanks for the information!

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