24 July 2012

Similarities Between Economic Development and Prostitution

Rapid economic growth in Asia e.g. China seems to have occurred after these countries have opened themselves up to foreign trade and capital. This all seems to fit in with supply-side economics. Wikipedia defines supply-side economics as follows:
Supply-side economics is a school of macroeconomic thought that argues that economic growth can be most effectively created by lowering barriers for people to produce (supply) goods and services, such as lowering income tax and capital gains tax rates, and by allowing greater flexibility by reducing regulation. According to supply-side economics, consumers will then benefit from a greater supply of goods and services at lower prices. Typical policy recommendations of supply-side economists are lower marginal tax rates and less regulation.
In other words, in order to foster economic growth, it is important that policies are implemented that meet the demands of businesses because ultimately, all wealth is created by business.

This theory is remarkably similar, in my opinion, to prostitution. In the market for sex, prostitutes work hard in order to make money from customers. In order for prostitutes to improve their standard of living, they have to implement policies that appeal to customers, e.g. they have to maintain their appearance. Similarly, supply-side economics suggests that workers and government, in order to improve their standards of living, must prostitute themselves to global businesses. In other words, the Chinese government and its people must reduce its wages so low and demand that its people work so hard so that a company like Nike will be interested in coming over, exploiting the Chinese workers, and paying them for it.

Hence, in order for countries to develop their economies, they must become better prostitutes. They have to undercut their fellow prostitutes and work harder and harder at providing better services to their customer, i.e. global business. In other words, they must become better prostitutes.

Update 25 July 12

I have been thinking about this issue a little more and have the following to add.

Many people argue that prohibition, whether it is prohibition of alcohol, sex, or gambling, doesn't work. When the US prohibited alcohol, what it found was that drinking alcohol went underground. Organised crime supplied the liquor and made enormous profits. By legalising alcohol, the US government was able to essentially destroy the criminal element in the liquor industry. In the Australian state of Victoria, liquor, gambling, and prostitution are legal but highly regulation. Premises that sell liquor must have a liquor license that it purchases from the state government. The same applies to prostitution. Under the Sex Worker Act in Victoria, there are laws about use of condoms and the frequency by which prostitutes must be tested for STDs. The main argument for tax and regulate versus prohibition is that demand for sex, alcohol, or gambling will never go away. It is better therefore for the government to regulate these industries to allow consenting adults to participate freely but to protect minors and other vulnerable members of the community. Tax and regulate also allows government to earn revenue by selling licences as opposed to all the proceeds of crime being siphoned off by mobsters.

In my opinion, the prostitution theory of economic development works the same way. In the same way that there is a large group of men who, due to their innate sexual desires, will always demand sex, so too there will also be a large group of wealthy people who, due to their innate greed, will always want to grow their wealth. The best way for wealthy people to grow their wealth is to invest.

Instead of prohibiting prostitution, it is better for government to harness the innate sexual desire of men for the benefit of society. By taxing and regulating prostitution, government can collect extra revenue and can allow prostitutes to earn a living and thereby improve levels of employment. In the same way, government, instead of prohibiting the greed of wealth men (i.e. turn to communism) the government can allow wealth men to indulge their greed and invest, start businesses, and employ workers. This allows the government to collect more revenue through various taxes, e.g. company tax, land tax, transaction taxes, etc. It also allows government to harness the greed of these wealthy people (or capitalists) to increase levels of employment. In the same way that men exploit prostitutes, capitalists exploit workers. The benefit of exploitation is that jobs are created. As one economist famously said, the misery of being exploited by a capitalist is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited by a capitalist. In other words, we are all prostitutes. We sell our talents for money, but that is what puts food on the table and that is what drives global GDP and improves standards of living.

In the same way that government cannot control men's desire for sex, gambling, or liquor, so too government are nothing compared to the power of the international capitalist class. As a result of natural greed, corruption, and so forth, there will always be an elite group of people who control nearly all the wealth. Government do put up a fight, but the existence of tax havens and loopholes make this fight quite futile. The ruling capitalist class will always exist just as men will always desire sex. It is better then for government to accept this and do what it can to sell its people to the capitalists. In other words, if capitalists are like men who are willing to pay for sex, governments are pimps, and workers are prostitutes.

Prostitutes can go it alone and try to get business but there is danger in this. There can be beaten up by customers. If the prostitute has a pimp, the pimp will protect the prostitute but the prostitute must give a certain percentage of her earnings to the pimp. Government is no different. Workers are prostitutes but governments build roads, build utilities, and ports. They build these things to make country to more attractive to capitalists. In the same way, pimps or brothel owners will build buildings, provide condoms, and so forth. These are the essential infrastructure necessary to attract customers and facilitate trade. In the same way that prostitutes pay a proportion of their earnings to the pimp or brothel owner, so too the worker pays a proportion of his or her earning to the government in the form of taxation. In the same way that some pimps treat their prostitutes better than other pimps so too different government treat their citizens in different ways, from the cruel dictatorships to the benevolent dictatorships to the democracies and republics.

What is the take-home message from all this? Communism is prohibition and capitalism is prostitution. If we want higher standards or living economic progress, we must prostitute ourselves and allow ourselves to be exploited.

1 comment:

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