Brilliant Idea of the Day


In today's New York Times, Jonathan Knee of the Columbia Business School suggests banning the creation of pornography by making it illegal to give or receive payment to perform sex acts. This, he says, would be "more useful than chasing down wardrobe malfunctions and scolding sophomoric talk-radio clowns." It's "the kind of regulation that does not implicate the First Amendment at all."

The justification? "[S]ociety objects on principle to the commodification and commercialization of sexual relations, even between consenting adults."

(Never mind that "society" actually spends several billion dollars consuming pornography, and, as Knee notes in his own op-ed, that "70 percent of men aged 18 to 34 visit a pornographic Web site at least once a month.")

The professor acknowledges: "one might want more empirical evidence of actual harm from the increased exposure to pornography before taking so radical a step."