Friday, May 21, 2010

Does this sound like Rome before the fall?

Selections: A Global Sports Problem, by Brent Bozell

The 2010 World Cup opens in South Africa in a few weeks. As a sports event, it is unrivaled in its popularity. It promises to bring a half-million soccer fans to that country.

But it will also draw out the worst of the worst. The Christian Science Monitor reports that the economic promise of an expected half a million largely male incoming consumers is attracting a massive influx of prostitutes from across the border in Zimbabwe. Hotel managers are guessing that as many as 40,000 ladies of the evening are assembling from as far away as Hong Kong, Pakistan and Venezuela.

This is not the first time this unholy amalgam of sports and the sex trade has materialized. Evidence shows this to be the norm.


  1. So South Africa is expecting a massive influx of single men, and has presumably hired prostitutes to meet the "needs" of those men.

    What's wrong with that? If anything, it shows me that the government body in charge of this event is rather wise in importing products for which there will soon be a large demand, stimulating consumption and purchases in South Africa. It is importing supply to meet demand. That's something to be praised.

    But more than that, the fact that prostitution is being considered as a legal market exchange speaks volumes about how liberal the government of South Africa has become. What was once considered as "unholy" by Puritans and firebrand preachers is now being considered a respectable occupation.

    I wonder, Mr. Kalahar, what exactly is wrong with prostitution, and why does importing supply to meet needs of consumers spell a situation like "the fall of Rome?" Are we to expect it was ladies of the night who took down an empire?

  2. I don't disagree with your analysis. It is just that the economic system does not work in a vacuum. The other civilizing institutions need to temper man's nature or we do not have a civilization. I guess if the religious, family and education institutions play a role in shaping behavior to secure our civilized existence where scarcity is maximized, does the economic and political system share some responsibility as well?

  3. All of those institutions you listed rely on economic freedom though. How can there be any type of strong familial, educational, or religious expression if markets are not clear; if a dictator controls production; if the people are slaves to bureaucrats?

    I think having family values is wonderful, but I don't agree that straying away from the typical religious answer to prostitution (criminalize it) is going to solve any problems. Maybe legalizing it would make people more moral in the long run.