Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Monday, January 31, 2005

Legalized Prostitution and Unemployment Benefits

I am not opposed to exchanges made between two competent adults not under duress; i.e., I generally favour the freedom to make contracts (with exceptions for contract killings, etc., so clearly the freedom of contract should not be absolute).

But here is a problem posed by an article in the News.Telegraph. Germany has legalized prostitution. Because prostitution is legal, women can have their welfare/ unemployment benefits reduced or eliminated if they refuse to take jobs that are legal (including prostitution), and so
"There is now nothing in the law to stop women from being sent into the sex industry," said Merchthild Garweg, a lawyer from Hamburg who specialises in such cases. "The new regulations say that working in the sex industry is not immoral any more, and so jobs cannot be turned down without a risk to benefits."

I find this appalling.
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.

No wonder the German birth rate is dropping if their bureaucrats cannot distinguish between brothels and bars.

Pointer from LloydC
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