Sex

Prostitutes Get Screwed (and a Happy Ending)

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Craigslist is removing ads for "erotic services" from the site. This isn't totally shocking in the wake of the Craigslist Killer panic and the resulting pressure from state attorneys general to do something. Also, founder Craig Newmark was never as tickled as he should have been by the idea that he was the world's most successful pimp (for instance, he didn't like the question when I asked him in this interview).

The fact is that booking clients online and controlling the circumstances of the rendezvous probably made prostitutes and other users of the site much safer than they would otherwise have been—it's a little tougher to google a guy you just picked up on a side street by leaning into the window of his car. So this is probably a net loss for the safety of the sexually adventurous and/or those who like their sex with a little capitalism mixed in.

However, it's not all doom and gloom for the world's oldest profession. Overseas, U.S. taxpayer dollars are going to an excellent cause: Getting Chinese prostitutes drunk. Seriously:

The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will pay $2.6 million in U.S. tax dollars to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly on the job….

"The purpose of the project is to try and develop an intervention program targeting HIV risk and alcohol use," [Dr. Xiaoming] Li told CNSNews.com…."Alcohol has been a part of the commerce of sex for many, many years. Unfortunately, both global-wise (and) in the United States, very few researchers are looking at the complex issue of the inter play between alcohol and the commerce of sex," he told CNSNews.com.

Plus, a happy ending to a tale of sex commerce in the U.K.'s Daily News today. Alina Percea, a Romanian 18-year-old auctioned off the right to take her virginity online for £8,800. She reports "I was attracted to him, so I enjoyed it":

Although her first concern was to raise money for her education, Alina was open to finding more from the transaction, saying that if she should meet her 'happiness and future, then that would be great too'….

'I hope to see the man again,' she says. 'And next time I won't make him pay!'

More on sex, including lots of sex workers, here.

NEXT: Rise of the Soda Jerks

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  1. ‘I hope to see the man again,’ she says. ‘And next time I won’t make him pay!’

    Could be the best 8800 pounds he ever spent, or the worst.

  2. ‘a happy ending to a tale of sex commerce in the U.K.’s Daily News’

    I sure hope that’s one of those post-modern, ironic remarks.

    If it’s intended seriously, then Ms. Mangu-Ward has gone beyond a strictly libertarian comment about the limits of government power and is affirmatively endorsing sexual immorality. Normally I would hesitate to give such a literal interpetation to KMW’s remarks, but this *is* Reason magazine, and you never know.

    This may simply enhance my marginalization, but I would express the view that having extramarital sex with a stranger for money is a bad thing. And that’s even before we get into the issue of whether it’s bad enough to justify governmental intervention.

  3. Alina Percea, a Romanian 18-year-old auctioned off the right to take her virginity online for ?8,800.

    So, is it on YouTube yet?

    I hope to see the man again,’ she says. ‘And next time I won’t make him pay!

    Oh, he’ll pay. We always do.

  4. I would express the view that having extramarital sex with a stranger for money is a bad thing.

    I’m curious about what the word “extramarital” is doing in that sentence, Mad Max. Or, for that matter, whether the phrase “with a stranger” is necessary.

    Just askin’, is all.

  5. I’m sure there will be other sites that will take over the Craigslist listing work.

    It’s interesting to note that apparently in the EU, if it’s your first time, it’s not prostitution. :/

  6. 2.6 million dollar too beaucoup!

  7. A czar, a Chinese prostitute, and David Harsanyi walk into a bar. Oh, and Haley Barbour is the bartender. So they order an “Obama cocktail”: America on the rocks!*

    *This is the quintessential “Reason” joke.

  8. So much for my hookers and coke stimulus package idea. I guess I will have to forge on solo, well until the hookers show up.

  9. affirmatively endorsing sexual immorality.

    It only seems unlibertarian to you, MM, because you view casual sex as immoral. The strictly libertarian view is that it’s no body’s business apart from the people consenting. I believe that casual sex is fun and harmless, and if people can make money doing it, I am even more happy for them. Maybe the fact that they were allowed to do this without patronistic busibodies bringing judgement against them is the positive thing that KMW is happy about.

  10. R C Dean,

    Without the proviso ‘extramarital,’ I would invite jokes about how marriage is simply legalized prostitution, dude.

    As for the word ‘stranger,’ would someone whom you *know* charge you money for sex?

  11. Oh, he’ll pay. We always do.

    Prostitution and relationships, the only difference is one is retail and the other is more like wholesale at clearance prices.

    Only two hundred bucks up front, what a bargain!

  12. A nice video on de-stigmatizing sex workers here.

    Maybe it’s cock-eyed (pun intended) optimism, but if more people saw sex workers as real people, maybe the prohibition that makes their work more dangerous wouldn’t seem like such a hot idea?

  13. ‘The strictly libertarian view is that it’s no body’s business apart from the people consenting.’

    I’m not libertarian, I’m a fellow traveller, but I know enough about libertarianism to know that you haven’t articulated the ‘strictly libertarian’ position.

    The ‘strictly libertarian’ position is that nobody (even a government representative) may use force or fraud to prevent voluntary adult activities. To express an opinion about the desirability or undesirability of those activities is to go beyond ‘strict’ libertarianism.

  14. This may simply enhance my marginalization, but I would express the view that having extramarital sex with a stranger for money is a bad thing.

    The honeymoon, yeah that’s the time to find out how compatible you are in the sack with some one.

    “Oh shit! What the Hell is that? Hers is bigger than mine! Now, how do I explain to the court and my family that I want an annulment?”

  15. The strictly libertarian position would also oppose the use of force or fraud against those who *criticize* certain types of sexual behavior.

    That is, a strict libertarian would, with equal zeal, defend an adult prostitute and a ‘fundamentalist preacher’ agaisnt force or fraud directed against them due to their consensual activities – whether it be consensual sex or consensual preaching.

    A strict libertarian would also denounce laws limiting the power of employers and landlords to enforce their sexual morality through voluntary contracts. For instance, a strict libertarian would support a landlord’s right to put a morals clause in their lease, or the right of an employer to fire at-will employees for violating the employer’s sexual norms, or to draw up an employment with a morals clause which employees have to sign as a condition of getting hired.

    Am I correct?

  16. an employment contract with a morals clause

  17. The fact is that booking clients online and controlling the circumstances of the rendezvous probably made prostitutes and other users of the site much safer than they would otherwise have been-it’s a little tougher to google a guy you just picked up on a side street by leaning into the window of his car. So this is probably a net loss for the safety of the sexually adventurous and/or those who like their sex with a little capitalism mixed in.

    C’mon. Just because Craigslist stopped doing it doesn’t mean some other entrepenuer won’t fill this niche. (Everthing’s an innunedo when you comment on a prostitution thread). Craigslist just gave guilty husbands the plausible deniability of claiming they were looking for a used futon.

  18. Maybe it’s cock-eyed (pun intended) optimism, but if more people saw sex workers as real people, maybe the prohibition that makes their work more dangerous wouldn’t seem like such a hot idea?

    Dagny,

    Several years ago I watched a show on Bravo about an attempt to unionize a strip joint. It was the most depressing, joyless, and wretchedly sad experience ever brought to film. Like a stake in my heart is was.

  19. alan,

    Are you aware that *Saint* Thomas More suggested that prospective brides and bridegrooms should look each other over before getting married – view each other naked to see if everything’s OK?

    To be sure, that idea (in More’s Utopis) isn’t why More is recognized as a saint, but it didn’t stand in the way.

    And don’t forget the Church’s marriage preparation programs, often required before you can get hitched.

    But don’t let me spoil your stereotypes.

  20. “Alcohol has been a part of the commerce of sex for many, many years. Unfortunately, both global-wise (and) in the United States, very few researchers are looking at the complex issue of the inter play between alcohol and the commerce of sex,”

    I hate to be the one to break it to you, Dr. Xiaoming, but sailors have been doing the research for, I dunno, three thousand years or so.

    Give me 10% of that 2.6 million and I’ll answer any questions you may have about “the inter play between alcohol and the commerce of sex”.

    Overseas fact finding missions are gonna cost extra.

  21. And don’t forget the Church’s marriage preparation programs, often required before you can get hitched.

    I have to say that the Chruch’s Pre-Cana does require a candid discussion by engaged couples on bedroom expectations which any engaged couple–not just catholic ones–would benefit from.

  22. “The fact is that booking clients online and controlling the circumstances of the rendezvous probably made prostitutes and other users of the site much safer than they would otherwise have been-it’s a little tougher to google a guy you just picked up on a side street by leaning into the window of his car.”

    Having worked with prostitutes, I respectfully disagree.

  23. alan,

    Oh dear god. Somehow I think that the concept of seniority would be even less successful in the peelin’ profession than it is in other industries.

    And, would the less-attractive, Wednesday-afternoon-shift girls make the same as the Saturday night headliners?

  24. The relevant passage from the Utopia of *Saint* Thomas More:

    ‘In choosing their wives they use a method that would appear to us very absurd and ridiculous, but it is constantly observed among them, and is accounted perfectly consistent with wisdom. Before marriage some grave matron presents the bride naked, whether she is a virgin or a widow, to the bridegroom; and after that some grave man presents the bridegroom naked to the bride. We indeed both laughed at this, and condemned it as very indecent. But they, on the other hand, wondered at the folly of the men of all other nations, who, if they are but to buy a horse of a small value, are so cautious that they will see every part of him, and take off both his saddle and all his other tackle, that there may be no secret ulcer hid under any of them; and that yet in the choice of a wife, on which depends the happiness or unhappiness of the rest of his life, a man should venture upon trust, and only see about a hand’s-breadth of the face, all the rest of the body being covered, under which there may lie hid what may be contagious as well as loathsome. All men are not so wise as to choose a woman only for her good qualities; and even wise men consider the body as that which adds not a little to the mind: and it is certain there may be some such deformity covered with the clothes as may totally alienate a man from his wife when it is too late to part from her. If such a thing is discovered after marriage, a man has no remedy but patience. They therefore think it is reasonable that there should be good provision made against such mischievous frauds.’

  25. Are you aware that *Saint* Thomas More suggested that prospective brides and bridegrooms should look each other over before getting married – view each other naked to see if everything’s OK?

    Most fundamentalist don’t share More’s point of view so your example is at best misleading. I grew up with both Baptist Bible thumpers and traditional Catholics in my own very extended family so, no, I don’t have stereotypes, but know both groups from firm from experience of the lack of practicality in their approach to life.

  26. “Maybe it’s cock-eyed (pun intended) optimism, but if more people saw sex workers as real people, maybe the prohibition that makes their work more dangerous wouldn’t seem like such a hot idea?”

    Again, I respectfully disagree.

  27. groups from firm from experience of the lack of practicality in their approach to life.

    groups from firm experience in experiencing the lack of practicality in their approach to life.

  28. alan, is this what you were talking about? It sounds delicious.

  29. ‘but know both groups from firm from experience of the lack of practicality in their approach to life.’

    As far as practicality, how has the concept of sex for pleasure, outside the confines of marriage, worked in the real world? Hint: The extramarital birthrate in 1960 was 5.3% of the total, and in 2005 it was 36.8% of the total (these figures are from my lefty Family Law professor).

    How has the spiraling illegitimacy rate contributed to the *practical* happiness and welfare of America? How has it contributed to the cause of liberty (hint: it has expanded the demand for government welfare service, police services, etc.)

    In the scenario you posited – you *are* aware that the Catholic Church allows the dissolution of marriages which haven’t been consummated, right?

  30. Mad Max –

    RC Dean’s point, I believe, is that “extramarital sex with a stranger for money” is weirdly specific.

    Assuming that there is no redundancy in the sentence, we would conclude that you have no problem with any of the following:

    1) Extramarital sex with a stranger, provided it is not for money.
    2) Extramarital sex for money, provided it is not with a stranger.
    3) Sex for money with a stranger, provided a valid marriage is first performed.
    4) Extramarital sex with someone who is neither a stranger nor paying for it.
    5) Sex for money, provided the person paying is a non-stranger spouse.
    6) Sex with a stranger, provided that the stranger is not paying and a marriage ceremony is first performed.

  31. As for the word ‘stranger,’ would someone whom you *know* charge you money for sex?

    Many prostitutes have regular customers. Is it only wrong to pay for sex the first time, but not after that, once you are acquainted?

    The ‘strictly libertarian’ position is that nobody (even a government representative) may use force or fraud to prevent voluntary adult activities. To express an opinion about the desirability or undesirability of those activities is to go beyond ‘strict’ libertarianism.

    You do understand, Mad, that it is entirely possible to express an opinion without engaging in the use of force or fraud, and that libertarianism can thus prohibit the use of force or fraud without restricting the expression of opinion?

  32. Just to be clear, my problem with Fundamentalist has nothing to do with your voluntary code of conduct which I could not give a damn about one way or another, but the broader social sense where you thrive own alienation broadly interpreted as martyrdom just as your response to my joke demonstrates.

    In the scenario you posited – you *are* aware that the Catholic Church allows the dissolution of marriages which haven’t been consummated, right?

    Feel free to stop with the God damned condescending tone anytime you wish, it will save you a little embarrassment.

  33. What do Fundamentalist and liberals have in common?

    They are both like dealing with children.

  34. Are you aware that *Saint* Thomas More suggested that prospective brides and bridegrooms should look each other over before getting married – view each other naked to see if everything’s OK?

    To be sure, that idea (in More’s Utopis) isn’t why More is recognized as a saint, but it didn’t stand in the way.

    Mad Max: Are you aware that More’s description of Utopia (put into the mouth of his character Ralph Hythloday) does not necessarily represent his views on what our own institutions and mores should be?

  35. RC Dean’s point, I believe, is that “extramarital sex with a stranger for money” is weirdly specific.

    Assuming that there is no redundancy in the sentence, we would conclude that you have no problem with any of the following:

    1) Extramarital sex with a stranger, provided it is not for money.
    2) Extramarital sex for money, provided it is not with a stranger.
    3) Sex for money with a stranger, provided a valid marriage is first performed.
    4) Extramarital sex with someone who is neither a stranger nor paying for it.
    5) Sex for money, provided the person paying is a non-stranger spouse.
    6) Sex with a stranger, provided that the stranger is not paying and a marriage ceremony is first performed.

    Similarly, if someone denounces Bill Clinton for having sex with a subordinate in the workplace and then lying about it under oath, we should conclude that he has no problem with:

    1. Sex with a subordinate at a local hotel, then lying about it under oath.

    2. Sex with a subordinate in the workplace, so long as one is truthful about it when asked under oath.

    3. Sex with a superior in the workplace, then lying about it under oath.

    4. Lying under oath about non-sexual matters.

    Etc.

  36. D.R.M.,

    No offense, but I hope you didn’t pay too much for your degree in Formal Logic.

    If I said it was a sin to steal an old lady’s purse, does that mean I think it’s OK to steal a young man’s purse?

  37. As far as practicality, how has the concept of sex for pleasure, outside the confines of marriage, worked in the real world?

    Let’s see…. Oh, I know. Lots of people finding pleasure? Unwanted pregnancy sucks, but it’s not an inevitable consequence of sex. Diligent use of birth control can limit unwanted pregnancies.

  38. Fucking is legal and selling is legal, hence selling of fucking shall be legal, so sayeth Nick.

  39. Mad Max, what is your moral position on the charging of interest?

  40. ‘Unwanted pregnancy sucks, but it’s not an inevitable consequence of sex. Diligent use of birth control can limit unwanted pregnancies.’

    Strangely, though, the number of extramarital pregnancies (wanted or otherwise) has gone up, even as the use of birth control has gone up.

    Bear in mind that the increase in out-of-wedlock pregnancies took place at the same time that birth control became widely available. Whether you see this as a cause-and-effect relationship, or as a coincidence, it goes contrary to the assurances of birth-control enthusiasts before 1960, that the unwed pregnancy problem would be alleviated by birth control.

    (Please, please deny that unwed pregnancy is a problem – then I could really go to town)

  41. “Diligent use of birth control can limit unwanted pregnancies.”

    Pie in the sky, as the born out of wedlock stats confirm.

  42. Nick,

    Did you see my disclaimer earlier in the thread?

    ‘that’s even before we get into the issue of whether it’s bad enough to justify governmental intervention.’

    The charging of interest was approved by Church Fathers at least as early as the Middle Ages.

    Did you think you had found some kind of ‘gotcha’ question? You did, didn’t you?

  43. The fact is that booking clients online and controlling the circumstances of the rendezvous probably made prostitutes and other users of the site much safer than they would otherwise have been-

    A sentence that goes “The fact is … probably…” makes me want to barf. You’re OK KMW, but please don’t do that again.

    How about this:

    The fact is that when a john and prostitute meet in an open setting, like a stroll, both the john and prostitute probably have more information to assess the risk involved in the potential business transaction than they would by meeting through a phone call from a Craigslist ad.

  44. No, Mad Max. I was just asking. Not everyone is out to get you. I actually agree with you in this thread that the role of governmental involvement does not mean the same as whether or not libertarians have to condone something.

    But since you brought it up, from what era should we listen to Church Fathers? The Church has changed its tune often enough as to lose credibility.

  45. When criticizing Bill Clinton directly, the layering emphasizes the number of concrete improprieties the speaker thinks Bill Clinton personally committed.

    However, the direct object of the criticism in Mad Max’s post was not Alina Perce, but Katherine Mangu-Ward. That layer of indirection is an insulating level of abstraction. On that level of abstraction, the specificity of the concatenation implies that the impropriety only happened when that level of combined circumstance occurs.

    Now, obviously, this distinction isn’t a truth on the pure level of formal logic. But Mad Max, your post wasn’t a pure statement of formal logic, it was a work of rhetoric in English. The implicit rules of English rhetoric are not the same as those of formal logic.

    Ahem. Sorry. Once an editor, always an editor.

  46. Please, please deny that unwed pregnancy is a problem – then I could really go to town

    Oh noes! You got me. Here goes. I don’t believe that unwed pregnancy is a problem. I believe that unwanted pregnancies are a problem–for those who are pregnant. Thank god for abortion.

  47. One way to kill fire ants: Turn them into headless zombies:

    Some researchers in Texas are trying an unusual approach to combat fire ants – parasitic flies that turn the pesky insects into zombies whose heads fall off.

    “It’s a tool. They’re not going to completely wipe out the fire ant, but it’s a way to control their population,” said Scott Ludwig, an integrated pest management specialist with Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension Service in Overton, in East Texas.

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/hotstories/6420449.html

  48. Importing a pest animal to control a pest animal? Sounds like a foolproof plan.

  49. No offense, Katherine, but I’m not convinced CraigsList is any safer for prostitutes than streetwalking. When you’re being picked up by a guy in a car, I imagine you have more of a chance to feel out what he’s like before you meet him. Googling isn’t really much help, when you consider how easy it is to adopt another identity online.

  50. On balance, prostitution exploits women.

  51. I deny that unwed pregnancy is a problem.

    unwed births are the problem.

    ABORTIONS FOR EVERYBODY!!!!

    (booh!)
    ALRIGHT!
    ABORTIONS FOR SOME, TINY AMERICAN FLAGS FOR EVERBODY!!!

  52. Another way to kill fire ants: Make them read an H&R comments string.

  53. Prostitutes Get Screwed…

    Doesn’t that go without saying?

  54. I don’t believe that unwed pregnancy is a problem. I believe that unwanted pregnancies are a problem–for those who are pregnant.

    And the number of unwed pregnancies that are unwanted is probably a lot smaller than you think.

    As things are now, marriage really has very little to offer to women. They can get the baby without social stigma, and they can get the baby daddy’s money without having him around the house.

  55. Craigslist is removing ads for “erotic services” from the site.

    This is great news for me, since I have a vested interest in the success of backpage.com

  56. (Please, please deny that unwed pregnancy is a problem – then I could really go to town)

    I was adopted shortly after birth. My adopted parents treated me so well I even called them Mom and Dad.

    I have been living with same woman for 12 years and intend to live with her for rest of my days. We are not married and we have a beautiful one-year-old boy.

    I have something to say to you madmax:

    FUCK YOU.

  57. Nick,

    Sorry, I thought your question about charging interest was simply a piece of snark, based on the assumption that the Church has some kind of Muslim-style ban on interest.

    And the main reason for contemporary attacks on the Church is that she hasn’t changed her mind *enough.*

    ‘Oh noes! You got me. Here goes. I don’t believe that unwed pregnancy is a problem. I believe that unwanted pregnancies are a problem–for those who are pregnant. Thank god for abortion.’

    What accounts for the disproportinately large number of fatherless children in prison? Coincidence?

  58. ‘I have been living with same woman for 12 years and intend to live with her for rest of my days.’

    Ah, you think marriage (as the law now treats it) is not a sufficiently long-term arrangement?

  59. What accounts for the disproportinately large number of fatherless children in prison?

    There are some cases where crimes children commit are placed in the jurisdiction of an adult court. Is this what you mean by “fatherless children in prison”?

  60. wingnuts-

    First they came for Craigslist………

  61. Ah, you think marriage (as the law now treats it) is not a sufficiently long-term arrangement?

    We don’t need a legal form from the government to validate the spiritual commitment we have to each other.

    Taxes and inheritance are another matter. That matter seems to be working in our favor by not being legally married for now. This might change in a few years.

  62. An article for the online magazine Slate (that notorious fundamentalist publication) has some interesting nuggets:

    ‘Some researchers identify out-of-wedlock births as the chief cause for the increasing stratification and inequality of American life, the first step that casts children into an ever more rigid caste system. Studies have found that children born to single mothers are vastly more likely to be poor, have behavioral and psychological problems, drop out of high school, and themselves go on to have out-of-wedlock children.

    ‘For 10 years, the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study at Princeton University has followed the families of 5,000 children, three-quarters born to unwed parents. According to the research, most of these parents, both women and men, said they wanted to get married-and to each other. But they somehow feel this mutual decision is beyond their power to make. And by not making it, the forces of inertia start pulling them apart. Five years after their children’s births, only 16 percent of the couples had married, and 60 percent had split. . . .

    ‘Scholar Kay Hymowitz, author of Marriage and Caste in America: Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age, turns the argument around and says it’s not that harsh economic conditions lead to women having children without fathers, but that the decision to have children without fathers leads to harsh, and self-perpetuating, economic conditions. She explains that having the belief that a solid marriage is central to one’s life-that it precedes starting a family-encourages women and men to make important choices based on self-discipline and deliberation. This is a formula “needed for upward mobility, qualities all the more important in a tough new knowledge economy.” . . .

    ‘Having unmarried parents can be devastating for children who start out with no cushion in life. In 1999 congressional testimony, Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution said that the increase in single-parent families-mostly due to unwed motherhood in the past few decades-“can account for virtually all of the increase in child poverty since 1970.” A recent study found that the stress of early childhood poverty can literally damage developing brains.’

  63. ‘Some researchers identify out-of-wedlock births as the chief cause for the increasing stratification and inequality of American life…’

    Some researches identify masturbation as the cause of blindness, pigs as the cause of swine flu, and free markets as the cause of poverty. Yes that article was very helpful.

  64. jk-6:42

    If her family has the money, marry her, without an ante-nuptial agreement, and make sure she names you as her attorney-in-fact.

    If your family has the money, be nice to your parents.

  65. libertymike,

    Neither of our families have any wealth to inherit.

  66. Mad Max-

    “He who is in you, is greater than he who is in the world.”

    Is it safe to assume that we agree that Christ was referring to himself as being “in you?”

    As for the “he” that “is in the world?”

    Have you ever considered the possibility that part of the “he who is in the world” might be Caesar? How about a big part?

  67. jk-

    Are you sure? No coup de villes at the bottom of anybody’s cracker jack boxes?

  68. libertymike,

    Actually, my mom led me down to basement a few years ago and opened the secret chest of family wealth. It had a few $100 bonds from RCA. My dad worked for RCA. Maybe I’m a millionaire.

  69. “Whether you see this as a cause-and-effect relationship”

    Max, are you serious? I can see making the argument that both extramarital births and the use of birth control have increased as a third variable, namely the frequency of having extramarital sex, has increased, but are you seriously positing that it is the increased use of birth control itself that has led to an increase in extramarital births? That seems bizarre.

  70. “He who is in you, is greater than he who is in the world”

    Yeah, that’s what all the gals I’m doing say about me when I’m plugging them.

  71. “How has the spiraling illegitimacy rate contributed to the *practical* happiness and welfare of America? How has it contributed to the cause of liberty (hint: it has expanded the demand for government welfare service, police services, etc.)”

    We all hear about this rising illegitimacy causing poverty in the black and white community, but is that true? As I’ve shown here before many times the black poverty rate in 1959 (before out of wedlock births) was something like 50%+, now post out of wedlock births shooting up its like 22%, and the overall poverty rate was like 20%, now it’s half that.

    http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/histpov/hstpov2.html

  72. Fun with statistics!

    Which part of the black population is poor, and which has risen out of poverty?

  73. ROTFL thats just too darned funny dude!

    RT
    http://www.privacy-resources.us.tc

  74. One would think if one were to take the time and inclination to spoof someone they could come up with something better than the 8:39 spoof.

    It’s certainly hard to cast rising illegitimacy rates over the past few decades as the cause of our poverty when our poverty fell by a dramatic amount during that same period.

  75. Oh, and of course privacy-bot I as usual look forward to the day when Satan actually devours you after raping you for half of eternity.

  76. Finally! Now that Craigslist doesn’t have an Erotic Services section, our internet tubes are cleansed of hooker ads.

    I was going to say targeting one web site in an attempt to block content on the internet is like sticking your finger in the dam. Then I realized how inaccurate this analogy would be.

    Attempting to restrict internet content is like standing in the middle of the goddamn river, earnestly trying to block the flow of Naruto episodes and furry porn.

  77. Although I feel like I’m holding up a flashlight to show the sun, here is *some* of the social-science research on the question of illegitimacy:

    Mark R. Rank and Thomas A. Hirschl, The Economic Risk of Childhood in America: Estimating the Probability of Poverty Across the Formative Years, Journal of Marriage and Family Vol. 61, Number 4. November, 1999. Page(s) 1058-1067 (Abstract):
    ‘Living in a non-married household increased the likelihood of experiencing poverty during childhood. By age six, 68 percent of children in non-married households had experienced at least one year of poverty, compared to 12 percent of children in married households. By age twelve, 78 percent of children in non-married households had experienced at least one year of poverty compared to 18 percent of children in married households; and by age seventeen, 81 percent of children in non-married households had experienced at least one year of poverty compared to 22 percent of children in married households. The study found that “[c]hildren in nonmarried households who are 1 year old have exceeded the risk of poverty that children in married households experience during their entire 17 years of childhood.”‘
    Daniel T. Lichter, Deborah Roempke, and J. Brian Brown, Is Marriage a Panacea? Union Formation Among Economically Disadvantaged Unwed Mothers, Social Problems Vol. 50, Number . , 2003. Page(s) 60-86 (ABSTRACT):

    ‘Women who had their first birth out of wedlock were more likely to live below the poverty line (30.1 percent vs. 8.4 percent); more likely to be living below 180 percent of the poverty line (52.3 percent vs. 20 percent); more likely to be receiving food stamps at the time of the survey (35.7 percent vs. 7.8 percent) than women who had their first birth within marriage. The relationships between out-of-wedlock first birth and the three measures of poverty were all statistically significant and held for all racial groups; although, the percentages varied for the different racial groups.’

    Steven L. Nock, The Consequences of Premarital Fatherhood, American Sociological Review Vol. 63, Number . April, 1998. Page(s) 250-263 (Abstract):

    Men who fathered a child outside of marriage were 70 percent to 90 percent more likely to be poor compared to men who never had children before marriage. Their risk of poverty varied with the age at which they became fathers.

    An analysis by the Center for Law and Social Policy:

    ‘Research indicates that, on average, children who grow up in families with both their biological parents in a low-conflict marriage are better off in a number of ways than children who grow up in single-, step- or cohabiting-parent households. Compared to children who are raised by their married parents, children in other family types are more likely to achieve lower levels of education, to become teen parents, and to experience health, behavior, and mental health problems. And children in single- and cohabiting-parent families are more likely to be poor. This being said, most children not living with married, biological parents grow up without serious problems.

    ‘In individual situations, marriage may or may not make children better off, depending on
    whether the marriage is “healthy” and stable. Marriage may also be a proxy for other parental characteristics that are associated with relationship stability and positive child outcomes. The legal basis and public support involved in the institution of marriage helps to create the most likely conditions for the development of factors that children need most to thrive-consistent, stable, loving attention from two parents who cooperate and who have sufficient resources and support from two extended families, two sets of friends, and society. Marriage is not a guarantee of these conditions, however, and these conditions exist in other family circumstances, but they are less likely to.’

    (MNG, sorry I accidentally posted under your name – not intentional)

  78. Max
    Single parent families make up a greater % of poor families than two parent ones. Of course, this is hardly startling since by definition there are two incomes in the latter. My point is that you can hardly blame the rise of single parent families for the rise in poverty when there has been no rise in poverty. The date you give as your starting point, 1960, which had this wonderful low out of wedlock birth rate, also had double the poverty we have now, with our crazy high out of wedlock birth rate.

    Also, it seems two of your own studies have a problem. Let me demonstrate:

    “Men who fathered a child outside of marriage were 70 percent to 90 percent more likely to be poor compared to men who never had children before marriage.”

    “‘Women who had their first birth out of wedlock were more likely to live below the poverty line (30.1 percent vs. 8.4 percent); more likely to be living below 180 percent of the poverty line (52.3 percent vs. 20 percent); more likely to be receiving food stamps at the time of the survey (35.7 percent vs. 7.8 percent) than women who had their first birth within marriage”

    This just shows that men who fathered a child out of wedlock were more likely to be poor men WHEN THEY FATHERED THE CHILD. This suggests poverty causes out of wedlock births, not the other way around, right?

    “Research indicates that, on average, children who grow up in families with both their biological parents in a low-conflict marriage are better off in a number of ways than children who grow up in single-, step- or cohabiting-parent households.”

    And that one is just silly. By qualifying the two parent families (both biological parents, low conflict marriage) but not the single parent and co-habitating ones they are compared to, variables are introduced that could be the better predictors.

    It’s like me saying “really strong men who drink protein shakes are stronger than men in general who don’t.” That would be a poor article of evidence if I were trying to demonstrate the advantage of the shake…

  79. Ah, MNG, you’ve exposed the fundamentalist know-nothing agenda of those right-wingers at the American Sociological Review, Social Problems, and the Journal of Marriage and Family.

    You can’t trust those egg-head sociologists, with their facts and figures. Everyone knows their hidden agenda is to keep women barefoot and pregnant.

  80. The data shows a rising economic tide which, over the last few decades, has lifted many people out of poverty. However, broken homes (or “single-parent households,” or whatever euphemism you prefer) have not benefited in proportion.

    Isn’t it an unfortunate coincidence? The people who benefited least from economic growth happen to be from broken homes.

    Of course there are exceptions – like the President of the United States. And there are dysfunctional people from intact homes. But taking the picture portrayed by the social scientists (who, to put it mildly, are not predisposed toward traditional marriage, or marriage in general), we see that the rising economic tide has encountered some leaky boats who don’t rise as fast as others, and these leaky boats are frequently broken homes.

  81. “However, broken homes (or “single-parent households,” or whatever euphemism you prefer) have not benefited in proportion.”

    OK, well that’s not the same as saying that the rise in out-of-wedlock births has led to a rise in poverty, because the second part of that did not happen. So the connection between out of wedlock births and povety seems much more complicated than you indicated, for one thing a society can have a huge increase in the former while having a huge decrease in the latter…

    And btw, because the ASR or Social Problems journal publishes Steve Nock saying x does not mean the ASA is saying that, or that most sociologists say that. But of course, this is some kind of strange argument from authority you have going on (“the ASA says x, and they are not fundies, so how could you be opposed given you dislike fundies”).”

    Again, it seems like poverty is just as likely to cause out of wedlock births as vice versa, judging from your own sociologist’s “facts and figures.”

  82. It seems like poor people are more likely to have kids out of wedlock, and when they do they are likely to be even more poor (common sense really, you have to feed those buggers). One lesson would be for poor people to stop having kids, a message I’m sure you’d embrace for their sakes 😉

    I’d be interested to know, do childless co-habitating poor people make more, the same, or less than 1. poor married couples with kids and 2. poor unmarried couples with kids. If they have more, then it seems its having the kids that’s a problem more than the not being married…

  83. ‘well that’s not the same as saying that the rise in out-of-wedlock births has led to a rise in poverty, because the second part of that did not happen.’

    I hope you enjoy scoring points against the Mad Max in your head, because I didn’t say there had been a ‘rise in poverty’ in America.

    ‘Again, it seems like poverty is just as likely to cause out of wedlock births as vice versa, judging from your own sociologist’s “facts and figures.”‘

    This is the sort of ‘seventy years of bad harvests’ reasoning which gives lefties a bad name.

    As you yourself declare (and as I never denied, contrary to your straw man), there used to be more poverty in America, but there were fewere out-of-wedlock births. Now, think carefully – does that *help* or *hurt* your claim that poverty causes out of wedlock births?

  84. ‘It seems like poor people are more likely to have kids out of wedlock, and when they do they are likely to be even more poor (common sense really, you have to feed those buggers). One lesson would be for poor people to stop having kids, a message I’m sure you’d embrace for their sakes ;)’

    So it seems you *do* seem to think that having children out of wedlock increases poverty.

    Sociological studies show that if you (a) get a high-school diploma and (b) wait until marriage to have children, you are probably going to stay out of poverty. Avoid these simple rules, and you and your kids are a lot more likely to experience poverty.

    So the lesson is not that poor people [should] stop having kids, but that should get married before they do so.

  85. Take a look at this summary of the evidence, from the National Center for Policy Analysis. (To be sure, they’re libertarian-oriented, so H&R posters would never give them any credence.)

    According to the analysis:

    ‘Among those who finish high school, get married, have children only within a marriage and go to work, the odds of long-term poverty are virtually nil. . . .

    ‘Marriage is also a strong deterrent to poverty. [See Figure II.]
    ? ‘Only 4.0 percent of married couples without children are in poverty, according to Census data.
    ?
    ? ‘In contrast, the poverty rate for singles without children is 8.6 percent.
    ‘Moreover, married couples are less likely to experience long-term poverty. According to the OECD report:
    ? ‘Married couples without children have a long-term poverty rate of only 1.3 percent.
    ?
    ? ‘By contrast, 7.9 percent of single adults experience long-term poverty.
    ‘Marriage promotes economic advancement. One study found that married men earn 22 percent more than their unmarried counterparts. The O[rganization for] E[conomic] C[ooperation and] D[evelopment] reports that a woman head of household who marries increases her chances of exiting poverty by 23 percent. A single person who marries and finds employment increases his or her chances of leaving poverty by over 50 percentage points. . . .

    ‘Having children outside of marriage is costly for both the individual and the child. The Census Bureau reports:
    ? ‘Of those households with two or more children under the age of 18, 7.9 percent of married households were poor, while 51.6 percent of never-married households were poor.
    ?
    ? ‘Of those households with two or more children under the age of 6, 11.5 percent of married households were poor, while 62.4 percent of never-married households were poor.
    ‘According to the OECD study, spells of poverty are 12.6 percent shorter for married households compared to female-headed households. Similarly, married households with children are much more likely to avoid long-term poverty than single parent households. Only 1.7 percent of married households with children suffer long-term poverty, while 26 percent of single parent households are poor long term.
    ‘Child poverty is dependent on the behavior of parents. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a Heritage Foundation study finds:
    ? ‘On average, a child raised by a never-married mother is 9 times more likely to live in poverty than a child raised by two parents in an intact marriage.
    ?
    ? ‘Nearly 80 percent of children in long-term poverty live in some type of broken family or with a never-married parent.
    ?
    ? ‘Children born to parents who do not marry spend, on average, 56.7 percent of their lives in poverty as opposed to just 6.3 percent for children in married families.’

  86. On balance, prostitution exploits women.

    And male prostitution “exploits women” how?

  87. libertymike First they came for Craigslist………

    I know, I am actually quite worried about that. I was being facetious, but I really do have an interest in backpage.

    I was hoping that Craigslist would fight tooth and nail, setting a decent precedent and saving backpage the legal cost of having to do so in the future.

  88. The reason that Craigslist has an “adult services” category in the first place, is to keep spam out of the other categories. Now they’re just going to post in the personals like they used to.

    What is it about prosecutors and hookers? Are they all self-hating hypocrites like Eliot Spitzer?

  89. Some researchers identify out-of-wedlock births as the chief cause for the increasing stratification and inequality of American life, the first step that casts children into an ever more rigid caste system

    Sen. Moynihan warned about this problem decades ago, and his fellow Democrats excoriated him for it. Maybe subsidizing single parents isn’t the smartest thing to do after all.

    -jcr

  90. To express an opinion about the desirability or undesirability of those activities is to go beyond ‘strict’ libertarianism.

    Since when do Libertarians have to keep our opinions to ourselves? I think cokeheads are assholes, but I’m still against the drug war.

    -jcr

  91. JCR,

    In the quote you gave, I was responding to a commenter who gave an overly-broad interpretation to libertarianism, thus:

    ‘The strictly libertarian view is that it’s no body’s business apart from the people consenting.’

    In the literal sense of that comment, then, anyone who even discusses voluntary activities, without using force, is violating libertarian principles. But

    But as this thread shows, libertarians make all sorts of voluntary activity their business, and it’s no violation of their principles. Then the question remains: What opinion should be expressed on these voluntary activities?

  92. ALL of you “libertarians” who don’t want people criticizing you CAN GO FUCK YOURSELVES. Don’t demand tolerance for yourselves if you won’t grant it to the opinions of others. YOU ARE ALL THE SAME CLOSE-MINDED FUNDAMENTALISTS THAT YOU ACCUSE OTHERS OF BEING.

    You “libertarians” who only believe in the moral of “consent” really just want to run around and not have anybody tell you that your lives are fucked up when they are probably incredibly fucked up.

    LIBERTARIANISM IS A POLITICAL SYSTEM, NOT A MORAL SYSTEM. No one should impose beliefs on you, but FUCK YOU if you won’t engaged in a tolerant discussion with others instead of just trying to shout dissenters down just like other fundamentalists do.

  93. “So it seems you *do* seem to think that having children out of wedlock increases poverty.”

    I think the evidence, shows that poor people tend to have a lot of out of wedlock kids. And that’s not the same thing as the causal effect you imply. One reason to doubt the causal effect is what you now admit: that this nation saw a huge increase in out of wedlock births as it saw the poverty rate half itself.

    By the way, as I pointed out upthread it does not help you to refer to findings such as “if a person gets a job (1), gets a high school degree (2), stays out of trouble (3) and gets married before having a child (4) the chances they will be in poverty will be nil.” You’ve thrown at least four variables into the mix, any one of which could be doing the work you want to attribute to getting married. You’d need to show that people that get an education, get and hold a job, stay out of trouble but do have a kid out of wedlock are on average worse off than those who do all those things and get married before having a kid, only this would show that marriage means anything. Compare apples to apples, not green beans.

  94. “Only 4.0 percent of married couples without children are in poverty, according to Census data.
    ?
    ? ‘In contrast, the poverty rate for singles without children is 8.6 percent.”

    Is this holding age constant? I hope so, because any undergraduate research methods course would tell you to watch out for spurious relationships. You know, since as people get older they tend to be wealthier (well, before becoming elderly) AND they tend to marry at higher rates, so if the average age of married couples without kids is higher than the average age of a single person, then it’s likely age and not marriage doing the work there…

    Really Max, I’ve yet to see many facts you’ve presented that prove anything more than that poor people tend to engage in out of wedlock births more than people that are not poor. Which of course is not the same as saying the out of wedlock birth causes the poverty.

    It’s like this with criminological theory. One theory is that people learn to be criminals by differentially associating with criminals, and the “proof” that some people assert is that yes, people who have a longer rap sheet tend to have more friends that have long rap sheets. But this doesn’t prove that hanging out with criminals makes you more likely to be a criminal, you could have been a criminal either way and just like to hang out with criminals, that is the kind of person who is a criminal is also the kind of person who prefers (or has to resort to) hanging out with criminals.

    Same thing here. The kind of person who makes the poor choices in life that make you poor also tends to be the kind of person who has children out of wedlock (I’d say both are indicative of, or the result of, impulsiveness or low intelligence). But that doesn’t mean that having an out of wedlock birth makes you poor.

  95. Single parent families make up a greater % of poor families than two parent ones. Of course, this is hardly startling since by definition there are two incomes in the latter.

    By definition? Then I guess my stay-at-home wife is, by definition, bringing in an income. Maybe I should slap her around a bit when I get home so’s she’ll tell me where she’s been hiding the money.

  96. ‘poor choices in life that make you poor’

    MNG, you right-wing hack, why are you blaming the victims of America’s racist, capitalist system?

  97. (Your forgot to blame Mark Furman for planting the evidence)

  98. (I know that *they* say it’s spelled “Fuhrman,” but he planted the extra “h,” too.)

  99. I guess I’m the leftist in your head, because I certainly think a culture of poverty which is full of poor choices exist. Of course I’m smart enough to know that cultures of poverty are systematic too, it’s not like a disporportionate % of poor people just woke up this morning and decided to embrace a culture prone to economically disasterous choices. Systematic imbalanced in wealth, power, resulting in oppression have fostered, created and nurtured these cultures.

    If you were a slave, not allowed to keep the fruits of your labot or to stay with your wife and family you might develop a system of norms and values that doesn’t care for such things and indeed mocks them. Such systems don’t go away overnight when slavery (or segregation or what have you) is ended.

  100. The problem with the ‘legacy of slavery’ hypothesis, as applied to illegitimacy, is that the black illegitimately rate remained comparatively low (compared to today) until the 1960s, when it began its rapid increase, so that most black births today are illegitimate.

    After the end of legalized slavery in 1865, black people were very interested in finding the wives and husbands who had been torn from them by cruel masters, and in getting their marriages legally recognized. In other words, the freed slaves used the first opportunity they had to regularize their relationships.

    Violations of the marriage bond during slavery was a likely to come at the instance of a white master than of a stereotypical sex-crazed slave.

  101. I knew this would be your next step, though I was in a hurry and could not pre-empt it in my last post. There’s some common sense to it: If there was this culture of poverty with anti-family values in the black culture due to effects of slavery then why was the out of wedlock rate in 1960 lower than now?

    The culture was there since slavery, but there was, until about the 1950’s and 1960’s also a legal and cultural regime imposed on blacks (on everybody actually) by white America. Remember that things like adultery and related things were actually illegal (criminal offenses) for quite a long time, and there were torts for getting other people’s wives/daughters to sleep with you, as well as massive cultural pressures, that all pushed back against any anti-family cultural values in the black community.

    Of course you know that there were laws against “wife abandonment” and convictions on these counts were almost exclusively blacks (former slaves), indeed this is why this offense became one of the offenses you could lose your right to vote over, the white legislators seeking to disenfranchise the newly enfranchise slaves knew that including such offenses as disqualifying one to vote would hit blacks harder than anything. Everyone knew that wife abandonment was chiefly a black problem then.

    Once this legal regime was undercut the cultural pressures alone (which atmittedly were weakened by “liberalism”, which was partly Moynihan’s point) was not enough to check the very strong cultural values/norms in the black community that undercut “family values.”

    Of course, these values and norms appealed because the “promise” of “white values”, i.e., hard work, saving money, marriage, were less for blacks who were discriminated against in hiring, contracting, banking, etc.,. It was logical and only recently pathological, but culture is a bitch to change (go ask folks in Russia).

  102. And since I know you like citation, go here for info on spousal desertion as a criminal offense punishable by hard labor imprisonment:

    Michael Willrich, “Home Slackers: Men, the State, and Welfare in Modern America,” Journal of American History 87 (2000): 470-71

    Linda Gordon, Pitied but Not Entitled (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994)

    And adultery as a criminal offense:

    Adultery, Law, and the State: A History
    JD Weinstein Hastings Law Journal, 1986
    38: 195

    And see 471 U.S. 222 HUNTER v. UNDERWOOD, where Alabama included as disenfranchisable offense such things as “living in adultery” “bigamy” and “sodomy.”

  103. What the hell is EHarmony.com then? Guy selects girl off the internet, buys her dinner, gets laid. Sounds like Craigslist to me.

  104. With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

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