Who Benefits from the Busting Up of a Prostitution Ring?

Not Elliot Spitzer, apparently. Spitzer, the governor of New York, was caught on a federal wiretap making arrangements for the transportation of a high-priced prostitute from New York to Washington D.C. Several new sources are reporting that Spitzer was "Client 9" of the "Emperor's Club VIP," a high-class, international call-girl ring.

I really couldn't care less about the fact Spitzer was involved in this business, except, of course, that his involvement is relatively hypocritical, considering his attacks on all forms of "corruption." The real question, for me, is why this prostitution ring needed to be broken up in the first place. The ring arranged connections between wealthy men and more than 50 prostitutes (charging up to $5500/hr!) in New York, Washington, Miami, L.A., Paris, and London. Who wins and who loses from this shutdown?

Well, first, the men using the service lose, since they will no longer have access to lovin' that was presumably high-quality and disease-free (I assume this because of the price premium). Some will be exposed, like Spitzer, and I'm fine with that. They don't deserve their wives, anyway. But of course, the ones that are not exposed will either find another high-quality service, or will have to resort to low-quality substitutes (presumably with higher risk of STDs, blackmail and pimp-confrontations).

Second, the four people indicted for violating federal prostitution laws (I didn't even know there were any) most definitely stand to lose a great deal of money (present and future) and possibly their freedom. But the prostitution business in general, including organized crime, benefits from the destruction of one worthy competitor -- as I mentioned above, other "businesses" will just fill the void, since the black market abhors a vacuum.

But who loses out the worst? The prostitutes, of course. Where else can you make $5500 an hour legally, and part-time, for what is essentially unskilled physical labor? I mean, less than a year of work could probably yield enough savings for early retirement! Are theses poor girls going to have to go back to school? In the middle of a recession, no less?

Who wins? Organized crime and other competitors, I guess, and maybe whoever is going to get a promotion in the FBI because of the success of the operation. The American people? Probably not, since the cost of this operation will most likely be a complete waste: Will it stop prostitution? No. Will it prevent poor women from getting exploited and abused? No way. If anything, it just made getting involved in a prostitution ring riskier, and therefore will increase the involvement of less organized (read: street scum) proprietors, who have less to lose.