I know you folks like to be edgy and cute and look at economics in a different way than your more stodgy brothers and sisters, but this isn't funny. But even if I grant you that comparing prostitution to rice consumption is a legitimate economic comparison--and I'm not ready to do that, as it places women and their sexuality in the category of a commodity to be bought and sold on the open market--what you did in the closing of the column is inexcusable. You asked your readers to "[provide] the best answer to the question of what prostitutes and rice have in common," and offered a prize for the winner, all without even stopping to consider what would come in the comments. Here's a small sampling.
they both seem more desirable when you’re not getting any — frankendufThat's just from the first 20 or so comments. There were 136 comments by the time I started this post, and only a very small fraction weren't of this type. Euclid, at coment #35 inadvertently got the answer right when he/she said "They are both tasteless." Euclid was just directing the answer at the wrong group--it's the Steven Leavitt (who asked the question) and the commenters who took this as an opportunity to let loose with some sexist and racist jokes who were the tasteless ones.
The wild varieties are the best! — Jason
San Francisco — billy
More prostitutes eat rice than any other staple?
“Rice. It’s what’s what does the trick.” — Jon L
In desperate times there is no substitute — Matt
Consumption of both increases in a recession.
Both can be small or large, hard or soft, and white or brown.
The desire to consume again returns very shortly after a serving. — Eric
Southeast Asia has a large domestic supply of both. — Tim
Despite the recommendation of suppliers, both should be washed before before eating. — Mike M
Yeast infections? — X
Sometimes they’re sticky? — The Notorious H.A.M.