Economics of legal sex work in the U.S.

“Prostitutes speak out against Senate health bill” (CNN) is interesting for some insight into the economics of sex work in the one U.S. state where it is legal. The article explains that women who work in brothels are independent contractors, not employees:

At the helm is Alice Little, 27, who works near Carson City at Dennis Hof’s Sagebrush Ranch brothel. … “I have been fortunate to amass a strong clientele and establish myself as a financially successful businesswoman within Nevada’s legal brothel industry, but that can take time,” Little said in the release. In fact, she’s so successful Hof says she made about $500,000 last year.

Separately, the article is interesting for what it reveals about Americans’ understanding of their own government.

“Under Trumpcare insurers will be able to charge older consumers five times more than young consumers,” [Alice Little] said. “People over the age of 65 make up a very large percentage of Nevada brothel clients. If these clients are forced to pay unfairly augmented health care costs, they will not have money on hand to spend on the things that make life worth living in the first place — like sex.”

So here’s someone who is capable enough to earn $500,000 per year, pays a significant amount of her income in taxes to support Medicare, and yet is apparently unfamiliar with the details of Medicare, one of the largest U.S. government programs. As far as I know, the Obamacare versus Republicare debate doesn’t involve Medicare and therefore it wouldn’t affect the senior citizens that Ms. Little is concerned about. (If anything, Ms. Little should support a straight repeal of Obamacare due to that bill’s cuts to Medicare.) Have we built a government that is beyond the understanding of even our most capable citizens?

In fact, [the brother owner] says half of them have college educations, 20% have master’s degrees, a few have doctorate degrees and one, an Ivy League educated professor, picks up hours to help pay off her huge student loans.

I’m going to guess that this is not one of the alumni success stories featured by Princeton or Yale or wherever it was that she got her Ph.D.!

Related:

 

6 Comments

  1. Dan

    July 10, 2017 @ 2:30 pm

    1

    Very interesting.

    How come you haven’t blocked CNN ? There’s very little journalistic integrity there as evidenced by the leaks that reveal that the top brass at CNN are focused (rationally) more on ratings and emotion-driven, shareable content than the truth. CNN’s comments are not very thoughtful. Signal-to-noise ratio seems low.

    Phil, where do you get your news from ?

  2. Neal

    July 10, 2017 @ 2:45 pm

    2

    “So here’s someone who is capable enough to earn $500,000 per year, pays a significant amount of her income in taxes to support Medicare, and yet is apparently unfamiliar with the details of Medicare, one of the largest U.S. government programs. ”

    This very strong conclusion is not really justified by the quote. Yes, the speaker misattributed a concern which applies to people in the 55-65 demographic to people in the >65 demographic even though that concern does not apply to the >65 demographic (because those individuals are covered by Medicare). This minor error on one of the facts used in their argument doesn’t mean the speaker is “unfamiliar with the details of Medicare, one of the largest U.S. government programs.” The minor error does not even invalidate the point the speaker was trying to make (if applied to the correct demographic); said point being completely ignored by the rest of the post.

    Exactly much could a quote from one person in a country of 325 million possibly reveal “about Americans’ understanding of their own government.” anyway?

  3. Jack

    July 10, 2017 @ 2:46 pm

    3

    Remarkable point of view — that someone else should pick up their clients’ medical expenses so their clients will have enough disposable income to frequent the brothels — so this woman can supposedly earn $500K annually.

  4. philg

    July 10, 2017 @ 3:33 pm

    4

    Dan: Where do I get my news? Facebook, of course! The referenced article was cited by a Facebook friend in a post. I think this is a reasonable way to get news because if nobody is talking about it on Facebook it isn’t having an impact.

  5. jack crossfire

    July 10, 2017 @ 4:25 pm

    5

    The loss of medicare is a good example of how the have-nots become the haves, when an entitlement program comes of age. Can imagine why so many silicon valley men move to Reno when they hit middle age.

  6. philg

    July 10, 2017 @ 5:20 pm

    6

    Jack: What do you mean “loss of medicare”? How is it possible to lose something that is guaranteed to every American who reaches a threshold age? Do you mean the “loss of some benefit of Medicare when the rules are tweaked”?

Log in