Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Market solutions for funding youth programs?

There's a large market that finds young people to be erotically attractive. How about selling erotic services, possibly even legalizing prostitution, to help fund young people and youth services?

Oh, you say the idea is preposterous?

I'm suggesting this as a critique of the concept of relying on the marketplace for everything. Is the market really the best solution in all cases?

Maybe employing youth in erotic industries isn't a bad idea for funding their services.

We do rely on gambling to pay for a lot of government and social services in today's economy.

Gambling on Indian reservations is a marketing concept that pays for quite a few things.

The state lottery is another marketing idea.

Some call the lottery a "voluntary tax on fools." Brings money to the state that doesn't have to rely on raising taxes.

I don't know if these are good ideas, but why not include erotic services in the mix? In another kind of society, the business of sexuality could be a money maker for government. An enterprise that's quite pleasurable as well.

Could add to the revenue for youth services that currently comes from government sources, volunteer donations, churches and so forth.

Better than the one arm bandit at some casinos. Better than scratch tickets.

Maybe it's not such a bad idea. Who knows.

On the other hand, we can't rely on market solutions for everything.

This society is kind of uptight about things like that. Also there's problems associated with exploitation.

Another thought for the trash heap?

Moving on, here's yet another idea.

In the early 1980s, there were psychologists on KVI radio in Seattle. It was a "call the psychologist" talk show.

Someone named Jennifer James was one of the on-air psychologists back then. She could analyze issues and help people between commercial breaks. I thought she was quite good.

President Reagan was in the White House. Funding was being cut for various counseling agencies.

I thought, "Government funded counseling clinics being cut back?, maybe radio psychologists could take up some of the slack."

A Novel idea?

So I wrote a letter to the American Enterprise Institute (a think tank leaning toward market solutions). Suggested pop psychology on the radio as a means to take the burden off of publicly funded counseling agencies.

They wrote back saying it was a worthy suggestion.

Thinking about this more, I realize some problems with putting the therapist's couch on the air.

Not enough time to really do justice to one's client callers. Hard to solve problems between commercial breaks.

Most radio counseling sessions were short as they had to "wrap it up to pay the bills."

Sell more refrigerators.

Regular counseling, in a psychologist's office, can be limited as well. Sessions often restricted to 50 minutes. "50 minutes with the clock ticking." Expensive also.

On the radio, there's usually even less time. There's practically no confidentiality either. Your session is broadcast to thousands. Names were anonymous though.

Another thought for the marketplace of ideas.

*Radio psychologists were on KVI in 1980s predating the current talk format.

No comments: