Friday, April 24, 2015

Legalizing "sin" would benefit Alabama greatly.

Legalizing “sin” would benefit Alabama greatly.

The State of Alabama is constantly in a budget crisis. As a state, we are last or nearly last in every economic and life-style indicator because we’re broke. More people in Alabama are on welfare than work. We have little local revenue from taxation and we’re addicted to federal money to barely survive.

Politicians of both parties run and get elected on “no new taxes” pledges and then take office with no intent of actually running the state, balancing budgets, improving the state’s revenues and making Alabama’s economy competitive.

Alabama politicians ignore a wealth of revenue opportunities in the name of morality. 

Let’s be clear: Morality is not a political issue. Morality is a person’s internal code of ethics. Humankind is notorious for one thing: Morality espoused in public is often completely belied by actions which occur when no one is looking.

Let’s see how Alabama fails to measure up economically merely because Alabamians are hypocrites when it comes to “sinning.”

Marijuana —

Alabama is awash in drugs. Marijuana use is rampant. Crystal meth, cocaine, heroin and crack are land-office business here.

Marijuana is a cash crop.  According to the feds, the national average for marijuana use is 260 per 100,000 population. Alabama is higher than the national average with 273 per 100,000 population using marijuana. By the fed standard, 12,714 people in Alabama smoke weed. We know it's more than that because  a total of 13,349 people in Alabama used marijuana in 2014. How do we know? They were arrested for possessing it. Law enforcement will tell you that for every person caught using marijuana there are 8 people who are never caught.

So, that means the total marijuana usage, according to police statistics, in Alabama is 106,792 people. 

Sociologists claim this number is too low. Some studies show that as many as 88% of people nationwide have used marijuana at least once. 

So, if that number is accurate, then 4.3 million people in Alabama have used marijuana at least once.

If Alabama legalized marijuana the tax revenue that the state would earn is easy to calculate.

Let’s look at Colorado and do the math. Colorado has 5.36 million people compared to Alabama’s 4.89 million. We can simply take Colorado’s numbers since the state legalized marijuana and multiply those figures by .897 and come up with a projection of what Alabama would earn in tax revenues from marijuana.

Colorado’s legal marijuana is a $700 million a year industry. Colorado weed generated $53 million in tax revenue to the public coffers. Income tax off of Colorado marijuana sales is $140 million annually. 

Alabama legal weed would be a $627.9 million industry.  Alabama would reap $47.5 million in sales taxes off of legal weed annually. Income taxes off of marijuana would exceed $120 million.

What other industry could instantly generate nearly $50 million in taxes for Alabama? None.

Casinos –

To calculate what Alabama would earn from casino gaming we need only look at Mississippi.

Mississippi’s casinos generate $2.4 billion in annual revenues. The income tax from this industry exceeds $480 million yearly.

Mississippi projects it will collect $2.17 million in sales tax revenues from gambling in 2015. Alabama, a state of comparable size and population, would generate the same amount yearly.

And don't forget, there are already two casino/hotels operating in Alabama on Indian land. Both are doing land-office business and raking in hundreds of millions in profits but not paying a dime of tax to the state because they're on Indian land!

So, casinos are already here, but we're not benefiting from them statewide. There is a strong rumor that Gov. Robert Bentley is asking the Indian casinos to bail out Alabama. That would be the ultimate display that Alabama has needed casinos all along. 

It's time.

Prostitution – 

Legalized prostitution is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a good thing for public health and policy reasons. Wrap your head around this. In the states and countries of the world where prostitution has been legalized the industry has brought women out of sex slavery and made them legal independent contractors who work in a safe, regulated industry that generates tax revenues.

If you’re outraged and are yelling at the computer right now – screeching that you don’t want prostitution in Alabama – it’s too late. It’s already here.

Right now in Alabama there are as few as 4,000 and as many as 30,000 prostitutes working illegally in the state. This is a booming business in Alabama run by organized crime.  Think I’m lying? Google “escorts” and “Alabama” and you’ll find several web sites chock full of ads for prostitutes in every corner of Alabama. 

While some of these illegal prostitutes are working independently, the majority of these prostitutes are virtual slaves in an industry controlled by organized crime. These women have no say in anything they do. They are sex trafficked in and out of Alabama. They suffer abuse, beatings. Many are murdered and those who survive usually suffer from horrible sexually transmitted diseases. They are forced to have sex with six to eight men nightly.

Unlike illegal prostitutes, legal prostitutes host one customer nightly, are allowed to turn away any customer they are not comfortable with, and don’t face severe beatings and torture and exploitation.

So, let’s be clear: If there are between 4,000 and 30,000 prostitutes working in Alabama and these women sleep with six to eight men each night, let’s do the math: That means there are between 32,000 and 240,000 men in Alabama sleeping with prostitutes each night.

Clearly, prostitution exists in Alabama.

Legalizing prostitution would be a step in the right direction both from a public health standpoint and from a taxable revenue standpoint.

Prostitution is a $200 billion industry in USA. Most states outlaw prostitution, so that is tax-free revenue for sex traffickers and organized crime. If the sex industry were legalized and taxed, the income taxes on that money would exceed $40 billion. Sales tax would exceed $1.6 billion.

In Nevada, legal brothers are a gold-mine in tax revenue.  The average Nevada legal prostitute, working only one week a month, makes $100,000.00 annually and pays income taxes of $20,000.00 yearly.  Her employment is regulated by the state, which conducts monthly health-screenings, regulates the brothel owners, making sure her employment is voluntary and that she is paid properly and taxed properly.

Nevada legal brothels gross $75 million annually. Illegal prostitution in Las Vegas (the only part of Nevada where it is not legalized) is $5 billion annually, completely untaxed. One has to wonder why Nevada would legalize brothels, but NOT in Las Vegas, its number one tourist Mecca. As a result organized crime profits mightily in Vegas.

The legalization of brothels has brought a tax windfall for Nevada, where legal brothels generate $600,000 in annual sales tax revenue and $1.5 million in income taxes annually.

Not one case of AIDS has been diagnosed among the legal prostitutes in Nevada since it was legalized. AIDS among illegal prostitutes is rampant.

Not only would legalizing prostitution raise enormous tax revenues, it would reduce law enforcement costs. The cost of policing illegal prostitution is $7.5 million annually. The number of organized crime figures prosecuted for sex trafficking is - 1%. Mostly cops arrest the abused, beaten and terrified illegal prostitutes, victimizing them further, while their masters get away scot free.

Recent studies have shown that women who work in legal brothels are there because they like their jobs, like the income, and like the control they have over their lives. Further, the customers of these prostitutes like that the industry is regulated and the brothels are safe and not run by criminals.

Crunching the numbers, Alabama would generate $1.2 million in annual sales tax revenue and $3 million annually in income tax revenues from legalized prostitution.

All-nude strip clubs –

Strip clubs are marginally legal in Alabama. They are regulated to death, and thus their survival is often tenuous. These clubs are regulated so that dancers are only allowed to be topless and not nude as in Georgia.

There are currently only 25 strip clubs in Alabama. Despite rampant over-regulation and downright predatory hostility from government, these clubs generate revenue of $37.5 million annually. Alabama currently earns $3 million annually in sales taxes off of strip clubs. Income tax figures are hard to calculate because the dancers work strictly for tips and many clubs don't report.

Compare that to Georgia, which has 61 strip clubs. Most of them feature all-nude dancers. The gross revenue of these clubs in Georgia is – you might want to sit down – $700 million.  All-nude strip clubs in Atlanta are credited as a major attraction for Atlanta's $5 billion annual convention business.

So, Georgia gains an incredible annual income tax benefit of $140 million directly from strip clubs and a sales tax gain of $56 million annually.

Sales and income tax from conventions which come to Atlanta to enjoy the strip clubs there exceeds $1 billion.

And get this, the federal courts have ruled that nude dancing is a protected form of speech under the First Amendment. So, Alabama is actually violating federal constitutional law by prohibiting nude dancing.

So let’s look at Alabama compared to Georgia. This means that if Alabama legalized all-nude strip clubs, the potential economic impact is $350 million and the potential tax benefit annually to Alabama would be $94 million. We’d see income tax of $70 million and sales tax of $3.8 million each year. 

If we legalized marijuana, casinos, prostitution and all-nude strip clubs in Alabama, the sales tax revenue would exceed $55 million annually. 

It’s time we started recognizing that all of these industries are currently existing in some form or other in Alabama. Alabamians partake of all of these “sins.” The marijuana, casino, sex and strip club industries could be legalized, regulated and taxed to the benefit of all Alabamians. 

And get this: If you don’t smoke marijuana, use prostitutes, gamble or go to strip clubs, you wouldn’t pay a dime of this tax. You’d just get the benefit of the “sinning” of others!

Lastly, imagine how much the State of Alabama and tax payers would save on law enforcement and incarceration costs. It would be millions of dollars annually.

Required by Alabama law: These recoveries and testimonials are not an indication of future results. Every case is different, and regardless of what friends, family, or other individuals may say about what a case is worth, each case must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances as they apply to the law. The valuation of a case depends on the facts, the injuries, the jurisdiction, the venue, the witnesses, the parties, and the testimony, among other factors. Furthermore,,no representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the services of other lawyers.