Greenlight the Red Light
Humanity has a duality problem; we are constantly torn between submitting to our base animalistic desires and pursuing our conscious civilized expectations. This is reflected with philosophical concepts like yin and yang, religious concepts like original sin and social concepts like morality laws. Morality laws are a holdover from when religious institutions were the primary source of social stability; if something was godly it benefited society, as vice versa. These institutions were eventually co-opted by feudal and martial entities to increase their own influence among populations, and as kingdoms and empires became republics and states, the concept of righteous guidance persevered.
And why wouldn't it? Anybody engaging in society knows that people have the capacity for evil and stupidity, and restricting that person's evil and stupidity from dragging down the entire society is a vested interest for everybody in that society. Imagine living in an apartment building with a chronic drunk that sings at the top of her lungs at 3 AM and urinates in the corner of the lobby - her vice becomes your problem.
It is this attitude that made prostitution illegal in Western society. It makes sense that the oldest of professions is linked to the most basic of desires - the biological imperative drives all living beings to procreate. Procreation is encouraged by sexual acts feeling pleasurable, and it doesn't take clairvoyance to know that people pursue pleasure as they avoid pain. And it isn't just humans that do this - chimpanzees and penguins have both been observed engaging in behavior that mimics human prostitution. But just because an act may be natural, doesn't mean it can't be destructive.
Many ill effects stem from prostitution. Sexually transmitted disease can spread without oversight, pimps maintain their control over their stable with emotional and physical violence, and customers can be robbed or have their family lives ruined by a vindictive drug-addict. But a recent Dutch study asserted that cities that legalize prostitution experience a steep decline in sexual abuse and rape, which begs the question - what purpose does keeping prostitution illegal serve?
Would not the financial and physical well-being of those who voluntarily decide to become prostitutes be better ensured if they were in a union than if they had to depend on a pimp? And would not the profit going to gangs that engage in human trafficking decrease if their customers had the option of going to a licensed prostitute with regular STD checks without threat of being arrested?
Arresting prostitutes will do nothing to steer them away from their industry - if anything, it shoves them into a position where it becomes the only way to put bread on the table (or heroin in the needle). And lets not pretend prostitution isn't already legal in some facets - a cursory glance at the back of any newspaper will advertise "escorts" for the discerning gentleman, and professional pornography is essentially paying two prostitutes to have sex with each other.
It would be far safer for society and cheaper for government to legalize the practice. Recently there was a police sting in Flushing that ended in the death of the prostitute - the immediate cause of her death is her jumping out of the window to avoid arrest, but the reason for her jumping is an unjust and senseless law being enforced.
Wouldn't the police be better utilized, and tax dollars better spent, enforcing laws that actually made us safer? I argue that they would. In fact, state revenue would increase if the practice were legalized and taxed just as cannabis legalization is causing a boon for states that legalize it. It would also help suppress the scourge of Virgin Rage that is fueling a white nationalist resurgence.
We can't legislate morality, but we can legislate morally. As long as our animal instincts do not directly harm somebody, they should not be made illegal. To do so is unnatural, cruel, and bound for failure.