Deciding who decides what's good for you.
Pileus, a leading libertarian website associated with fellow travellers whose point of gravity is the University of Buffalo, ties itself in knots on the question of criminalization of Nevada's legal brothels.
Which, literally interpreted, means liberty to rape, sack and pillage, shelter the orphans and cure cancer. Practically interpreted, it means liberty from oppression, as determined by laws devised by a majority of your fellow citizens. That's not quite how libertarians see it.
As you know, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wants his state to outlaw brothels. He recently called on state lawmakers to have an "adult conversation" about the impact of legal prostitution on Nevadans and the state's reputation.
Here's the Pileus post in full:
Harry Reid of Nevada wants to outlaw brothels state-wide. Not surprising given that he is a scold and centralizer - among the worst combinations in an American politician (though scolds on their own have a place to play in a free society in which social change should come from the use of reason, speech, and disapprobation). Critics of Reid’s speech point to the state’s respect for local option in the case of prostitution. For example:
“When I initially heard he was going to mention it I was very surprised, just because it hasn’t been an issue for many [legislative] sessions and there haven’t been any problems,” said Senate Minority Leader Mike McGinness, a Republican with brothels in his district. “It’s always been a local option, and I think that’s where we ought to leave it.”But is local option really the first-best policy option for those who believe that adults should be allowed to engage in any consensual activity even if others believe it to be immoral? There is a large danger of “grassroots tyranny” in giving localities too much power to regulate various occupations and activities. However, local option is clearly preferable to centralization in many cases as it allows people to vote with their feet and to live in approximations of Nozick’s “utopia of utopias.” It is also a bulwark to one size fit all ”solutions.” I think libertarians are rightly torn on this issue.