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January 29, 2005
German Government Transforms Itself Into Pimps

The German government has told an unemployed woman that unless she agrees to take a job offer from a licensed Berlin whorehouse as a prostitute, her unemployment benefits will be cut off:

A 25-year-old waitress who turned down a job providing "sexual services'' at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefit under laws introduced this year. ...

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 Germans refused to create exceptions in its unemployment laws for licensed brothels, which creates a moral problem for young German women who find themselves looking for work. (The Germans claim that distinguishing between brothels and bars is too difficult for their bureaucracy.) They have to enter their information into a job database in order to collect unemployment benefits, and those databases give access to all employers paying federal taxes.

In other words, German women have to provide their private information to a system left wide open to sexual predators, and instead of protecting the women, the Germans pimp them out. Shame on them.

Some people argue for legalizing prostitution in the US, part of an expanded view of privacy and a paleo-libertarian philosophy. One state, Nevada, has no state laws against prostitution and leaves the issue to counties and cities, which allows some licensed brothels to operate freely. However, as the German experience shows, really stupid things happen when limited libertarianism meets socialism.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 29, 2005 10:31 PM

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» Unemployed German Prostitutes from damnum absque injuria
I'm taking this (h/t: Captain Ed) with a very large grain of salt, as my sources on the ground have informed me that the lawyer involved, Merchthild Garweg, is Germany's answer to Gloria Allred. Here is a somewhat more informative article, albeit i... [Read More]

Tracked on January 31, 2005 9:46 AM

» Prostitution Hoax Update from damnum absque injuria
Snopes has revised its entry on the German prostitution/unemployment hoax and rightly updated its debunking status from "undetermined" to "false." Meanwhile, no corrections from Lileks, Johnson, the Captain or the Professor. Feh. I was about ... [Read More]

Tracked on February 7, 2005 12:31 PM

» Roland from Roland
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Tracked on March 31, 2006 2:34 AM

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