Monday, November 24, 2008

Deflation Taps Oldest Profession

Workin' Girl
I read lots of economic-related message boards. One of the running jokes regarding this financial slowdown goes like this:

In the coming years, what will debt-laden, SUV-driving soccer moms be willing to do to bring in some cash?

Well, ABC's Nightline gives us a tentative glimpse:

ABC News: "Ranches" See Job Apps Surge (** NSFW **)

Yikes. Watching the video, I snickered at how the deflationary effects of all this deleveraging just keep sliding down the pole. (Couldn't help myself. Sorry!)

Says the ranch's madam, Susan Austin:

I have more ladies coming in now [looking for jobs] than they ever did before, because of the economic times.

This makes sense, sadly. It was fairly heartbreaking to see the young woman ("Kimberly") arriving at the Vegas airport at the start of the segment. In what had to be a monumental decision regarding how she'd create income for herself, her jeans were low-cut, yet her anxiety was high-rise and palpable.

Could she make "good" money in this oldest of professions? Probably. Some ladies, we're told in the story, bring in thousands per week.

But as Kimberly's hiring madam tells us, the money spigot has lately suffered from a bit of ... well, erectile dysfunction:

Well, recently, business has dropped off dramatically, dollar-wise. We have a lot of men coming in — a lot of parties — but less money. They don't have as much to spend. ...It's [the economic downturn] reached the brothels.

"The irony for Madam Susan," says the narrator, "is that while the money is drying up, more women are applying for jobs."

And the job applicants, according to Susan, are "going older."

To which I say: Yup. That's deflation in action at the bottoms-up level. (Man, this is too easy!)

The sentiment is echoed by one of the ranch's scantily-clad "independent contractors." When asked about whether service prices have declined:

I am willing to, you know, take a lower number to oblige a gentleman. Definitely.

See there? If you're a single, adventurous guy (or girl, I guess) with cash savings, there are D-cup deals to be grabbed. Frugality does have its rewards. And my curious mind inquires: How would one categorize such expenses in Quicken, exactly? Would a budget-minded soul set aside Freedom Account money each month?

Another young lady weighs in with her view of the economics of all this:

Because I always say that people will find money for the three things they love in life: drugs, liquor, and sex. So with that being said, I think people will actually extend their budget a little bit and put off paying that one bill and come here and have that stress relief that they get from spending a couple hours with a lady.

Fascinating stuff, really. But no matter how bad things get, something tells me this is one industry that won't be coming to Congress with their hands out, begging for taxpayer assistance.

In fact, Spitzerian history suggests that it's the other way around.



— Posted by Michael @ 8:22 AM


We can all make fun of things like this, but don't forget that these are real people with real feelings. Nobody is willingly getting into such a profession for the love of it. We all get paid for some skill that we have; a cookie for doing something for some one else... not a single one of us can truly say we are not dependent on another. So, its not right to make fun of another that is down on luck. It is trully sad that people have to get into such situations because of the greed of a few.

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