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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Arizona would be smart to welcome porn industry move to Valley of the Sun

    After SB 1070, businesses boycotted Arizona and its economy took a hit. But the state may soon be seeing a huge influx of new industry: pornography. Upset by new Californian laws that force performers to wear condoms, the porn industry has indicated it may move from the San Fernando Valley to the Valley of the Sun.

    The Porn Star Ball was held only a few days ago in Phoenix, which coincided with the first Adult Film Convention held in the state.

    “It’s not like they’re doing it out in the open, in public,” said Claude Renner, a business junior. “It might boost our economy.”

    The California law that prompted the potential move requires adult film actors to wear condoms. This is in response to a recent scare in which an HIV-positive performer may have infected an unknown number of others. Fearing that their freedom of expression will be stifled, and that viewers won’t accept videos with condoms in them, porn stars and filmmakers look eastward. But should Arizona embrace its role as the pornographic promised land?

    “The California law is a violation of free will,” said Becca London, a senior studying French and political science. “I think it’s really great for our economy.”

    The moral objections are well-trodden and need not be repeated here, but a large number of people hold them. Even those who don’t object to pornography have qualms with the way the industry operates.

    “I don’t think that’s exactly the kind of people we want drawn here. States have an interest in protecting people’s rights, but this goes a little too far,” said Lisette Cole, a junior studying philosophy, politics, economics and law.

    Besides that, becoming a porn center would have confusing effects on Arizona’s strained image. The state is perceived as institutionally racist and politically mad. Adding sexual permissiveness seems, at best, bizarre and, at worst, schizophrenic.

    But greed makes an excellent counterargument. Pornography is often quoted as a billion dollar industry. Granted, not all that money is concentrated in California, but its share is large enough to be quite interesting to the struggling state of Arizona.

    About a year ago, The Economist ran an interesting statistic in which it compared the size of state economies to the economies of other nations. Arizona was matched up with Thailand, which is not bad all things considered. California, however, was paired with Italy, a member of the Group of Eight and, debt crises and mismanagement aside, a veritable titan compared with Thailand. And if a billion dollar industry was forced to leave Italy, the Thai government and people would not likely hesitate to welcome it to their country. The analogy isn’t perfect, but it raises a key point about what the wisest thing for Arizona to do is in terms of economics.

    It seems Arizona has a new immigration issue to contend with. The question is whether government officials will bar them with the same fervor that they put toward transnational illegal immigration, or do the wise thing for the economy and welcome these migrants with open arms and open wallets.

    — Andrew J. Conlogue is a junior studying philosophy, politics, economics and law. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

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