Germans Tax Streetwalkers

Prostitution is legal in Germany and most other European countries. It’s illegal in America because of the general sexual repression which exists here coupled with the hypocrisy of so many opinion leaders in this country who always profess shock and moral outrage when some politician gets caught with his penis in the wrong place. Or in the wrong person. Of course, once such a shocking state of affairs is uncovered, we must immediately learn ever single detail, no matter how prurient.

Europeans have more sophistication about these matters since they first and foremost recognize that people like sex and are going to indulge in it no matter what. Therefore prostitution is legal and is taxed like any business transaction. Since most prostitutes work in brothels and clubs, collecting taxes is just as easy as collecting taxes from any business.

Streetwalkers, however, being in business for themselves and charging less because of lower overhead, often don’t pay the applicable taxes. This is not good. If you rent out your booty, you have to pay the piper. Unfortunately for the tax authorities, streetwalkers are harder to track down than other tax scofflaws since many don’t have a permanent address.

Trust the Germans to solve this problem. Bonn has installed a ticket machine in their red light district. In order to offer sexual favors for a fee, one must deposit €6.00 (about US$8.50) in the machine which then prints out a permit allowing the bearer to sell his or her wares between 8:15 pm and 6:00 am on the day of purchase.

Bonn expects to gain €200,000 per year in additional revenue which works out to US$288,000. Since every municipality in the US is short of money, why not legalize prostitution and then apply sales tax to the proceeds. Prostitution is going on all around us. They don’t call it the world’s oldest profession for nothing.

An automated ticket machine for street-walkers in Bonn

[Image courtesy of the Der Spiegel.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website:

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