by Kavon Fiennes
In today’s Gleaner I read a letter from Brian-Paul Welsh who is concerned about a recession in the Jamaican sex trade (I got his sarcasm). Apparently there was an article recently in the Star (the Gleaner’s afternoon tabloid) highlighting the falling prices in the sex industry, prices as low as J$50 (US$0.50) per sex act, due to market newcomers (i.e. new prostitutes) in May Pen (a major town in central Jamaica and Capital of the parish of Clarendon). Lol! Why is Mr. Welsh concerned about falling prices in the sex trade? Competition is a good thing.
Mr. Welsh would have us believe that the falling prices are acts of desperation and “price gouging?”. To my understanding, in a free market (and the Jamaican sex trade is a relatively free market as there are no enforced government regulations, laws or rules) if you have a quality product, or in this case if you can provide superior services (better sexual offerings) that are desirable by the consumer and better than your competition, then you can maintain your price.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a better product, that is, if you have a similar product/service or if your product is of lesser quality and you wish to outdo a competitor then you must use a lower price point to get more customers coming to you if you want to enter the market, or survive in it.
Competition is good. It drives out bad products and services and leaves the better ‘stuff’ behind for the customer/consumer of the products/services (of the ladies of the night). This scenario playing out in May Pen is the beauty of the market in practice. What better example than this do we need? The market is a beautiful thing.
The consumer is KING in a competitive market, with many producers/providers who are selling/promoting/plying their goods/trade/services!….The whores of the sex trade seem to have a better understanding of market economics at the level of the street corners of our towns and cities than, sad to say, the whores of politics on Duke Street.
Mr. Welsh is concerned about where the market equilibrium will bottom out. I care not, the market is always right, no matter the outcome. What coital indicator Mr Welsh? J$50 is the right price.
Letter to the Editor, The Jamaica Gleaner
Even the Sex trade is in recession | April 16, 2013
In a recently published article in THE STAR (‘Buyers rush $50 sex’, April 12), according to some sex workers in May Pen, the cost per sex act has reportedly plummeted to J$50 per transaction (US$0.50) partly because of a flood of new competitors on the market whose wares are less price elastic.
This gouging of the price for coitus is an act of desperation as a result of the financial constraints currently being faced by the majority of the population. But as an unintended consequence, it has introduced a new level of volatility into the market, with most analysts unsure as to when and where exactly it will bottom out.
As the market finds equilibrium, it will mean much more work for the dancers and other adult entertainers for whom enthusiasm has always been such a fleeting quality (so I am reliably informed). They will have to work much longer and harder for much less money in order to keep their businesses viable.
This commotion has not gone unnoticed by the finance ministry, and in an effort to plug holes in the national Budget, a slew of new tax measures are reportedly being developed. Rumours of this have incensed the sex workers and strike action on a national scale is being planned.
Financial analysts have posited that the coital indicator may very well be the litmus test for the common man to fully appreciate the gravity of the economic situation our nation now faces.
If a bullet which takes life now costs far more than the act that creates it, we are truly screwed.
- ARTICLE FROM THE JAMAICA STAR | April 12, 2013
BUYERS RUSH $50 Sex