Vice Squad
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Private Regulation of Vice

Some people are afraid that drug legalization will undermine the extremely negative attitudes that many individuals have towards the currently illicit drugs. But the social disapproval of a vice can survive legalization. Alcohol is actively disapproved of by large numbers of Americans, just to take one obvious example.

Prostitution provides a second example. Back in November Vice Squad reported on Heidi Fleiss and a legal brothel in Melbourne, Australia, with which Ms. Fleiss is affiliated. Now the brothel, The Daily Planet, appears to be up for sale, according to this article in the New Zealand Herald. Why are the current owners looking to sell?: "...while sex may sell, it scares off the investors and bankers Australia's first listed brothel property owner says it needs to spur its growth plans....'While the Daily Planet brand was a great launch platform for us, we've had a lot of resistance from shareholders and advisers because of the perception that we're in the prostitution business,' chief executive Andrew Harris said."

It isn't as if the bankers and stockholders are afraid of all forms of commercial sex, however -- those "growth plans" consist of an intention to expand their strip club operations. "Harris said brokers, investors and lawyers did not have the same compunction about strip bars as with owning a brothel."

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