Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Hooking for Benefits

This story was linked yesterday for a short time on Drudge.
Prostitution was legalised in Germany just over two years ago and brothel owners – who must pay tax and employee health insurance – were granted access to official databases of jobseekers.

The waitress, an unemployed information technology professional, had said that she was willing to work in a bar at night and had worked in a cafe.

She received a letter from the job centre telling her that an employer was interested in her "profile'' and that she should ring them. Only on doing so did the woman, who has not been identified for legal reasons, realise that she was calling a brothel.

Under Germany's welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job – including in the sex industry – or lose her unemployment benefit. Last month German unemployment rose for the 11th consecutive month to 4.5 million, taking the number out of work to its highest since reunification in 1990.

The government had considered making brothels an exception on moral grounds, but decided that it would be too difficult to distinguish them from bars. As a result, job centres must treat employers looking for a prostitute in the same way as those looking for a dental nurse.

Oh, where to begin? Such a lovely story, don't you think? They can't even think of a way to distinguish bar workers from prostitutes. And some people actually care what Germany thinks of our foreign policy decisions. Good Lord.

How many times have you heard someone argue for the legalization of prostitution? This story perfectly exemplifies the slippery slope government travels down when they rationalize moral issues away. What was that argument? "Two consenting adults", right? Who would ever get hurt by that?