CNN: Legalized Prostitution Could Help San Fran Economy

Finding a pro-deregulation stance in the media is often tough, but when if it suits some far out cause against societal norms, don't rule it out.

Sunny Hostin, CNN "American Morning" legal analyst, examined the pros and cons of a San Francisco ballot measure to be voted on next month called Proposition K. The measure would decriminalize prostitution.

But Hostin said there was a case, not for decriminalized prostitution - which reportedly will save $11 million in municipal police spending - but for legalization, which she claimed would "boost the economy in these economic times."

"I think the more valid argument would be legalizing it because I've spoken to a couple of people in San Francisco about this - a couple of voters and what they're saying  is, ‘Why not legalize prostitution because then brothels will be taxed, prostitutes will be taxed and that will boost the economy,'" Hostin said. "And in these economic times, this is the one time I think this sort of proposition in San Francisco could, could be passed."

Hostin confused "boosting" the economy with increasing tax revenues. Legalized prostitution, if taxed, would boost the government's tax receipts, but that is not the same as economic growth. The economic activity would still be occurring - whether it was decriminalized and untaxed or legalized and taxed. But, Hostin said the economic boost wasn't a "valid argument" for decriminalization alone, even though there would still be this "economic growth" occurring.

"So, is it a valid argument for decriminalization - I don't think so," Hostin added.

The argument that the legalization or decriminalization of prostitution would be any economic boost isn't necessarily always true either. The state of Nevada, where prostitution is legal, regulated and taxed in 11 counties as Hostin proposed, is suffering very tough economic times. Unemployment is at a 23-year high of 7.1 percent and expected to hit to 7.6 percent in January. As far as tax revenue, the state is facing an $898 million and has had to cut spending by $1.2 billion with more cuts expected.