James Leroy Wilson's blog

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Get Your Meth, Imported Assault Weapons, and Whores Here!

I know this is last month's news, but it's something I intended to comment on but became busy with other things and forgot about.

How freaking stupid can prosecutors be if they want the Craig's List Erotic Services section removed?

It seems to me they'd want people who sell illegal stuff to openly and brazenly advertise.

I don't frequent prostitutes, but if I did, I would rely on a word-of-mouth network. I would have assumed that every last erotic service ad on Craig's List was a sting operation. Indeed, I would have thought that the sex workers themselves would be stupid for posting, because all police would need to do is answer these ads and make the arrests. I'd have avoided that section like the plague.

Do people sell illegal weapons or drugs on Craig's List, or anywhere else online? Wouldn't they be certain that federal or local law enforcement would quickly be on to them?

The more black-market businesses publicly advertise, the easier it is for police and prosecution; the job is half-done. By suppressing this speech, governments are only making it harder on themselves to trace and prevent this activity.

Craig's List was a gift to law enforcement, and it makes absolutely no sense why people should be angry at Craig's List for allowing sex workers who are stupid enough to advertise and risk arrest from doing so. It's not Craig's List's fault that the police didn't take advantage.

It suggests to me that law enforcement does not have any intention of making any serious inroads on prostitution or any other black-market activity. Its dual purpose is rather to keep arrest and incarceration rates high enough to appear effective, yet also keep the "crime" rate high enough to justify bigger budgets.

Laws against vice, as opposed to violent crimes against person and property, are make-work jobs programs for the government. More police, prison guards, etc. The moral well-being of you and I has nothing to do with it.

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