Posted by Jeff from bgp01107368bgs.wbrmfd01.mi.comcast.net (126.96.36.199) on Thursday, June 06, 2002 at 3:19PM :
In Reply to: Re: A friend's impressions... posted by Julia from dhcp100232.res-hall.northwestern.edu (188.8.131.52) on Thursday, June 06, 2002 at 3:06PM :
: >> That's some dangerous logic. "I suppose it is beter to realize that you can't stop something and to legalize and regulate it than to let it get out of control illegally." That of course says nothing about the legitimacy of the economic transaction itself, which requires a moral and not objective evaluation. Just because two consenting parties agree to an economic transaction does not mean that that transaction should be made legal. There are plenty of countries whose comparative advantage is cheap labor. When a firm decides to open sweatshops in a country because that country willingly lowered its wage and labor standards, does that mean it is legitimate?
: What always amazes me is what my die hard capitalist friends say: no one is forcing a person to work in a sweatshop. similarly, no one is forcing the German or American woman to prostitute herself. So, if they willingly engage in the barter of their bodies or labor for wages, then what is the big deal? WHy get all squeamish about a transaction with mutually consenting parties?
: My gut reaction is that most prostitutes and most sweatshop workers engage in the work they do because of a lack of alternatives. WHen people have a lack of alternatives they are willing to do anything to improve their material and physical existence.
: THe important issue then is not the transaction itself, but the nature ofthe transaction and why they do this, and what additional costs are incurred when a woman sells her body in this kind of "profession."
My logic is NOT the following:
"The germans legalized prostitution, so it's ok."
No, not at all. All I was doing was using that as an example of the different mindset that exists between Europeans and Americans.
Whereas the Europeans think with Dave Matthewsesque qualities (Take the "best of what's around"...i.e. they make the best of a bad situation), the Americans do not. Yes, prostitution isn't the best way to go, but at least their prostitutes HAVE health care. At least they aren't being "pimped", beaten, and abused. I mean, does the fact that the government legalized their profession make it acceptable? Of course, I wasn't arguing that.
The same argument can be made for the legalization of drugs. If you legalize drugs, like Amsterdam has done, you don't have people who don't know shit from crack buying shit instead of crack. That would end up resulting in less death from uninformed drug users.
Would the legalization of certain drugs by certain governments mean that it's ok to do them? When did people start thinking that law = morality??
(Shawn, I don't want to hear it)
It doesn't in my book. Slavery was a law...remember? Remember prohibition?
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