Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The law of unintended consequences

The law of unintended consequences appears to be alive and well in Germany, as detailed in this article:

'If you don't take a job as a prostitute, we can stop your benefits'

The title seems farfetched, but here is how it happened. In Germany there is a system that helps unemployed people. A lot of people are enrolled in the program because in Germany the unemployment rate is fairly high -- 4.5 million people (and rising) out of a total population of only 82 million. According to the article: "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."

As it turns out, bothels were legalized in Germany about two years ago, so brothels are now legitimate businesses. As legitimate businesses, they can turn to the unemployment agency for employees. The combination means that an unemployed woman can basically be forced to become a prostitute in Germany. Presumably if gay brothels were to become popular, the same fate awaits unemployed men.

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