Sex or Money

 Posted by on 1 February 2005 at 5:42 pm  Uncategorized
Feb 012005

I found this crazy story via yesterday’s TIA Daily. Here’s what Robert Tracinski wrote, under the header “The Heartless Welfare State”:

In the view of old-style, 19th-century socialists (such as Victor Hugo), the supposed cruelty of the capitalist system was held responsible for such horrors as forcing destitute young women into prostitution. But in modern Europe, those horrors are now being perpetrated by the socialist welfare state–literally.

TIA Daily reader Chuck Salvi brought my attention to this nightmare story from Germany. First, the high taxes and onerous regulations needed to support German socialism plunges the population into permanent double-digit unemployment. Then, in one of those “business-government” partnerships that harkens back to the economics of fascism, the government gives private businesses the ability to, in effect, draft unwilling workers by threatening them with a cutoff of unemployment benefits. Then, thanks to the left’s amoral subjectivism, this power is granted equally to legalized brothels–which then try to draft unwilling women to become prostitutes by threatening to cut off their unemployment benefits.

This article notes that Germany legalized prostitution in 2002 “because the government believed that this would help to combat trafficking in women and cut links to organised crime”–but they forgot about Germany’s ultimate system of organized crime: the legalized coercion of socialism.

And here’s a quote from the original story:

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.

I’m all in favor of legalizing prostitution. And I have little problem with work requirements for welfare recipients, although I’d rather just abolish welfare altogether. But really, I’d rather not combine the two. I certainly don’t regard sex work as automatically immoral, but it’s certainly not for everyone.

(That being said, I’m none too enamoured of Tracinski’s characterization of the government cutting off unemployment benefits to people who refuse work as a “draft unwilling workers by threatening them.”)

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