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Friday, February 04, 2005

Now, this story about an unemployed German waitress who will have her benefits cuts because she refused taking up a job in “ “ in one of Germany’s legalised brothels, at first made me laugh. I mean, there is something supremely ridiculous about it; or perhaps I’m just being old-fashioned.
On second thoughts though I see quite a problem here. This is in fact one issue that puts me in a particular quandary.

Let’s look what people of other political persuasions would make of this. If you were more of a social conservative type you would presumably argue that that’s another reason supporting your position that the whole thing should be illegal. Straightforward enough.
Let’s say you’re more of the libertarian persuasion this is an easy one again: the welfare state shouldn’t exist in the first place, so the welfare state couldn’t try to force people into prostitution.
If though you like it a little more leftish-liberalish your views can be easily reconciled with this state of affairs, since you probably oppose the whole enforced welfare-to-work policy.

So, what am I going to say? Ideally I would like to see prostitution reduced or better still, vanish completely. I support legalising prostitution as I see that as the only way of breaking up the nexus between prostitution and the whole organised crime problem coming with pimps and drug dealing, not to mention forced prostitution, primarily of the illegally immigrated. My basic point is one of damage reduction.
On the other hand I support welfare-state measures that expect people to take up work rather than live at the taxpayers’ expense, even if that work isn’t necessarily their dream job. And to cover every aspect, I support the existence of the welfare state and don’t believe it to be an illegitimate function of government as dedicated libertarians argue.
On the face of it this puts me in a position, where I can’t have my cake and eat it. And, naturally, that annoys me. The solution would have to be a restriction on the jobs that unemployed people can be forced to accept or else forfeit their benefits. There are other jobs where such restrictions could apply, the armed forces being an example, because that isn’t a normal job. I’m just not sure what kind of restrictions would be necessary.

Anyways, I think it’s worth giving some thought to it.

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