The question of whether prostitution playing an important role in the development/regression of the economy is age-old, and has been debated on a number of platforms. Most political arenas have debated and perpended over how much it’d boost the economy of a region. To an average Joe, the idea of the imposition of taxes on brothels boosting the economy would seem to be pragmatic, considering how much revenue brothels can generate. But like any other business or crime, prostitution is often organized. It starts with street prostitution followed by bars, brothels and clubs.
Escort agencies and prostitutes occupy the lower and middle slots, while kept women occupy the top rungs. Prostitutes brought at exorbitant prices are often young, beautiful and healthier. They also charge more and spend more time with their clientele. Both working conditions and payment proportionally increase the more beautiful they are. Clients are less, venues more agreeable and client screening more severe. A sex-work researcher from Nairobi finds that there is no proof that would say that the prostitutes would’ve engaged in prostitution, after prostituting. While prostitutes make an inordinate amount of money prostituting, they evade the tax on that income. And keeping in mind the migrating market from the streets to the internet, it is even more difficult to ascertain the cash flow.
Prostitution comes with a peculiar characteristic attached to it: it is well-paid notwithstanding it being labor-intensive and requiring almost no skill. Streetwalking might fit in the lowest-paid sectors of prostitution, but that much money can tantamount to several multiples of full-time earnings of professionals with the same or more skills. In most cities that have legalized prostitution, buying condoms, ‘working clothes’ and renting on brothels is a big business. Many prostitutes profess how the dwindling economy proved to be nocuous to their profession and how the internet was redefining the sex market. Internet eliminates the need for brothels for those that live in remote regions. This certainly embroils the proceedings and measures that the police take up, but it also becomes a way for prostitutes to capitalize on their already-high incomes.
If one were to take the example of Kenya, where prostitution is rampant, they’d know that prostitution impacts the economy there positively, in some ways. The most notable thing observed there was the introduction of new money and growth that was becoming palpable through the multiplier effect. The introduction of new money is concomitant with the multiplier effect; the multiplier effect spreading growth from industry to industry. When an industry flourishes and the operating costs are spent locally, other locally-based businesses also reap the benefits. It is evident from observing in many places that real growth happens with new money. Prostitution provides a very quick and easy way to earn money, enabling women to climb the social ladder and extricate themselves from patriarchy. Many live under the notion that prostitution allows a woman to subsist and also provide for her dependents.