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Time For A Stripper Tax

EDITOR, The Tribune

An objective examination of the issue of adult entertainment in the Bahamas cannot but lead to one conclusion: it resides within the bailiwick of publicly sanctioned activity that adults should be free to engage in or patronise, if they so desire.

For that reason, The Guardian was spot on the mark when it endorsed a call to update some of our Victorian era laws and regulations that put the state in the position of always knowing what’s best for us.

The industry should be allowed to come out of the shadows and into the (red) light. This would afford them the protection of the police instead of their current business model which is to take drastic steps to mitigate harassment from the police.

Our collective position on so-called “vice” or “sin” activities continue to evolve. Happily, there is much more tolerance in this society than some in the religious sector would have us believe.

Permit strip clubs and we would collect business licence fees, VAT on the hefty drinks prices that these establishments charge, and we would reap the economic spin-off that would redound to the supporting cast of entrepreneurs who make a living from this industry.

Respectfully, however, the Guardian’s call for tolerance on this business fell way short of what the real irksome issue is and is wide of the mark of why this industry finds itself before the courts from time to time. Patrons appear to have a predilection for imported talent and therein lies the rub.

It is usually on suspicion of violation of immigration rules that the police raid these strip clubs. And it’s the foreign exotic dancers who must prove that they have leave to enter the country for the purpose of engaging in short-term gainful employment. The old canard that the promoters and owners of the clubs don’t pay their dancers a fee will not hold water. Strippers typically work for tips and this haul can be extensive on occasions such as a wild bachelor party.

The immigration statutes do permit the importation of temporary labour on payment of a small fee, likely in the neighbourhood of $500 to $1,000 per dancer.

In one year, this “stripper tax” would produce a tidy sum to the exchequer. The promoters should be made to post bonds and prove to the satisfaction of the Immigration Department that the dancers are not being sex trafficked or, worse, are not a part of the global slave trade for young vulnerable people.

The correct noun is in fact “people” because we must acknowledge that right alongside strip clubs featuring female dancers, we also import a fair share of men to entertain different audiences.

Strip club patrons are not exclusively men with too much time on their hands and dollar bills in their pockets. Women up and down the Commonwealth have so-called “lingerie parties” featuring only male strippers.

And in keeping with Newton’s third law of motion, for every action there is going to be an equal and opposite reaction. If we legalize strip clubs here, we would save a great chunk of the millions of dollars that flow to strip clubs in Florida where countless Bahamians regularly go to “make it rain”.

THE GRADUATE

Nassau

February 3, 2019

Comments

joeblow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Marx said religion was the opium of the masses. He was wrong-- ignorance is!

In this dumbed down society where respect for people, their property and the morality of the country is at a all time low, we don't need a small group peddling an addictive vice for profit to the detriment of society at large! People should be more than just a means for governments to generate more revenues through exploiting their base desires!

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Revolutionary 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Marx was right, as are you. Religion is the opium of the masses, because dogma is ignorance. I agree with you that addiction is a risk that business's have a responsibility not to perpetuate/exploit, and that people are worth more than money. But the data from countries that have legalized sex work shows a tremendous societal benefit: safety for workers, payment regulations, being able to monitor addiction or malpractice, and taxing the profits. No problem enjoying base desires as long as its consensual.

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joeblow 2 months, 2 weeks ago

There is even greater societal benefit in not cheapening sex and intimacy, strengthening families and moral values in a society. Respect for women, marriage and family can never reach the levels it should through objectification of body parts for pleasure or profit!
Base desires are just that and men can never manifest their better selves when yielding to them!

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Sickened 2 months, 2 weeks ago

You sound like a priest. Asking men to not yield to wanting to see naked woman and have sex! LOL!! All men want sex; even the priests that have been screwing the nuns (according to the Pope).

Once a man has sex then he is at his best to relax, focus and accomplish tasks. Once he thinks about sex, he is entirely focused on sex.

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joeblow 2 months, 1 week ago

Using your logic, Bahamians should be the most productive people on the planet, but illegitimate children, broken homes, crime and a whole host of ills plague us because of the lack of self control people have in ALL things! Men are not animals, but we sure act like it!

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Sickened 2 months, 1 week ago

I certainly see your point and agree with certain points. However, my logic is to use protection so that I don't have more children than I can comfortable care for. Unfortunately, our society doesn't use much logic and our men and women don't think about the child aspect; they just want sex regardless of the consequences.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Idiot! Next you would want a tax on murderers for each murder they commit. Taxing crime will never overcome its very real painful effects on a society.

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Revolutionary 2 months, 2 weeks ago

That's a bad comparison, murder is a violent crime, sex is not. Any violence, wrongdoing or disease in sex work is a result of it's criminality; legalizing would help reduce/end this.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 2 months, 1 week ago

And so you choose to ignore the very real plight of abused sex workers. What an idiot you must be! LMAO

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Revolutionary 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Truth. Sex workers are the ones hurt in the industry, and legalizing/regulating/taxing the trade would greatly improve their safety, payment and sanitation. Tax bonus aside, we have no moral grounds to prohibit people from doing something that doesn't harm anyone. 'Victimless crime' is a synonym for arbitrary limitation (generally due to national or religious dogma). No victim = no crime.

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TheMadHatter 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Graduate, your idea is interesting - however probably too open-minded and modern for these backward rocks and cays.

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joeblow 2 months, 1 week ago

Open-mindedness usually causes common sense to vacate the premises!

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TheMadHatter 2 months, 1 week ago

open-mindedness doesn't mean accepting any new crazy wild idea without thought. Just because something is new, does not mean it should be accepted. However, in this case, I have to wonder where is the actual crime (and I don't mean lawbook crime).

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mandela 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Raiding strip clubs are truly silly and backward thinking, persons who visit these establishment are all adults, it happens behind four walls, only those interested enters and participates, yes they can be taxed, but not raided, as a matter of fact anyone regardless of their age starting as young as 5yrs , if they can turn on the computer with Wi-Fi or data they can watch any type of sexual movies all day long many of which would make stripping look like a joke. Law enforcers need to find other more important things to do instead of wasting our tax dollars on such actions. If we can allow the LGBTQ to move about freely surely we can allow stripping.

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