Tax the poor, seize homes of 'pimps'


It’s a well-known doctrine of economics that you get more of what you subsidize and less of what you tax.

Thus, the United States government in its infinite wisdom subsidizes poverty and out-of-wedlock birth, along with unmarried women raising children without any man in the home, and gets more of all three — along with a steady supply of badly socialized, functionally illiterate youths with which to fill up our prisons, assuring the unwavering support of the prison guards’ union.

It’s brilliant.

Simultaneously, our collectivist government heavily penalizes those who work hard, save, invest and threaten to grow rich through their tireless entrepreneurial activity, creating as an afterthought lots of good-paying jobs. So for the first time in our history, we’re now running short of such people — or at least have caused them to keep their talents well out of sight.

Mission accomplished.

Now, what else do we have too much of? Fat poor people, obviously.

So congratulations are in order to Nevada Assemblyman Harvey Munford, D-Las Vegas, who on Valentine’s Day introduced Assembly Bill 122, which would impose a 5-cent tax on fast-food items with more than 500 calories, which are eaten primarily by fat, poor people.

Mind you, the well-to-do can continue to consume thousands of calories worth of steak, baked potato, whisky and cheesecake at some fancy eatery with a white linen tablecloth and not pay this crummy nickel tax. That’s the beauty of it. It’s a tax levied almost entirely on poor people, for participating in an activity that’s pretty hard to avoid for long: eating.That’ll teach ’em!

Mr. Munford said he anticipates the additional cost would cause parents to dine at fast-food establishments less frequently, helping fight the “epidemic of childhood obesity.”

Of course! What typical customer of McDonald’s or Arby’s wouldn’t look at that cash register total, now higher by 30 or 40 cents, and say, “That’s it! Come on, kids, we’re out of here. It’s Morton’s steakhouse or Wolfgang Puck’s for us, till these people come to their senses!”

Mr. Munford says he’d like any revenue raised from the tax to go to the mandatory government youth propaganda camps, whose fantastic contribution to the holding down of the poor and the perpetuation of the poverty-illegitimacy-prison cycle is mentioned above.

Can you supersize your fries and Coke in the joint?

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Meantime, I see where Nevada legislators staged one of their favorite dog-and-pony shows in Carson City last week, parading before the cameras all kinds of women with hair-raising stories about how they came to become prostitutes at the age of 14.

The circus before more than 200 people in Carson City and by videoconference in Las Vegas lasted nearly four hours. So many witnesses testified that some were limited to wailing for only a minute or so, each.

Such an ecstasy of horror!

Sgt. Donald Hoier of the Metropolitan Police Department said he personally was solicited by a 12-year-old. Sgt. Hoier told of incidents where pimps beat and sodomized their prostitutes with baseball bats and others who repeatedly burned their “girls with hot irons and choked them with chains.”

The audience gasped.

Still, in many cases today, Hoier said, pimps receive probation or no more than five years in prison.

The goal of such hearings, of course, is to build momentum for new and more Draconian laws handing even more powers to prosecutors. What’s curious about this particular subspecies of carnival attraction is that Nevada, like all states, already has laws against kidnapping, torture, forcing underage children into prostitution, or having sex with an underage child. So what’s going on?

The bill under discussion would create a new crime of sex trafficking, to replace current pandering laws, we’re told. So all this is just about a name change?

Not quite. Under the bill, a pimp who prostitutes minor girls could be sentenced to life in prison. And accused pimps would also forfeit assets, including homes.

No one mentioned that under this nation’s asset forfeiture laws, it’s the house that has to prove itself innocent. They can take your house or business and never charge you with a crime at all, let alone have to prove you guilty! (www.vinsuprynowicz.com/?p=1638)

“We want to take back and protect our children and young adults who are being victimized,” says state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who helped stage Wednesday’s let’s-be-horrified-about-sex circus, and who would like to be governor.

“Young adults”? Did she just say “young adults”?

I thought we were talking about children being forced into prostitution, and suddenly Ms. Masto, daughter of the late convention authority czar Manny Cortez, says she wants to protect “young adults”?

The form of consensual commerce known as prostitution is legal for adults in Nevada (except for that odd, indefensible, crime-inducing carve-out for the two largest counties), whether they’re “young adults” or “old adults” or “in-between adults.” But under the new law now proposed, if an adult tourist who’s had a few drinks gets fooled into believing a sex partner picked up at a nightclub is of age, and it turns out he or she isn’t, who precisely would get life without parole? Could authorities seize the nightclub or motel in question without even bothering to win a criminal conviction?

And what if the “sex worker” turned out to be one of Ms. Masto’s “young adults”?

Vanessa Spinazola, representing the American Civil Liberties Union, properly noted adults can consent to sex. Public defenders sensibly asked whether it wouldn’t be easier just to increase penalties under current pandering laws.

A Reno police officer, Ron Chalmers, said many johns prefer picking up prostitutes on Reno’s Fourth Street, rather than driving 10 miles out of town to legal brothels.

And the solution wouldn’t be to ... allow regulated legal brothels in Reno?

“Some (prostitutes) are branded and tattooed with the pimps’ personal brand of ownership,” he added.

Repeat gasps of horror, as above.

Chalmers said Nevada’s legal prostitution industry has created the impression that prostitution is legal in Reno and Las Vegas, which is not true.

Why not? We don’t hear many tales about involuntary branding with hot irons in Nevada’s legal bordellos.

Go back and read the kind of uncorroborated testimony — often from southern sheriffs — about the power of drugs like marijuana, cocaine and opium to turn black and Hispanic and Asian users into sex fiends, back when such useful plant extracts were outlawed, 80 and 90 years ago. Go back and read about the mysterious, frightening power of those drugs to cause Caucasian women to lower their inhibitions — the only possible explanation audiences of the time could accept as they gasped in horror at the idea that these blossoms of white womanhood only then allowed themselves to be sullied by males of “inferior races.”

Oh, the humanity!

It was all soft-core porn, all “Show Biz.” But the resulting war on drugs has been stuffing our prisons and tearing our country apart for 80 years.

We seem to have learned very little.

Vin Suprynowicz is an editorial writer for the Review-Journal, and the author of “Send in the Waco Killers” and the novel “The Black Arrow.” See www.vinsuprynowicz.com.