Government Gone Mad – Germany Forces Prostitution

German Industrial Sized Cat House

German Industrial Sized Cat House

Original full sized image with atribution

There is a thesis I have. It says that the Right Brain just understands things and keeps it all in context. Part of that job is realizing when blindly following “The Rules” is just crazy. The Left Brain is the linear logical rule based brain. It thinks any and all rules, if properly accepted, must be right and can be mixed in any stew. The Right Brain is were we get the “You must be kidding?” response. The Left Brain is where we get the “You have been ordered to… and must obey the rules” from various stupid government agencies.

Unfortunately, our education system has been ever more focused on training Left Brain behaviours and ideals and tossing out Right Brain ones for decades. ( Cutting Sports, Music, Home Economics, Shop and Mechanics, etc. ). Coupled with the deemphasis on religion and we are ever more a ‘paint by numbers’ society of non-thinkers with rule based behaviours.

So I was running down a link chain on unemployment, and hit this link about Germany. Seems they made Prostitution Legal. Hey, why not, thinks the Libertarian in me. Somebody wants to sell and someone else wants to buy, what’s my part in it? What I’d failed to consider is that this freedom is being embedded inside a coercive Central Planning Government. One where Labor Departments decide when and what jobs you ought to be qualified for…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/1482371/If-you-dont-take-a-job-as-a-prostitute-we-can-stop-your-benefits.html

So, if you are unemployed, you can get unemployment benefits. UNLESS you turn down a job offer. And since prostitution is now legal… Yes, that’s right: Hit the bed and spread ’em or they could decide no unemployment check for you!

(I wonder if they have a sex discrimination law? Age discrimination? Could an old out of work fat guy demand “equal rights” and insist on being hired by the shop? I’m pretty sure I’d not be chosen from the nightly “line up”… Just saying… ;-)

I can only hope this article is mistaken, that it’s all some kind of mistake. There is a wiki claiming that prostitution is legal in Germany:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_Germany

But it looks like there is nothing they will not tax in the EU, and it looks like if you don’t “perform” enough, you could be driven out of the “profession” by the base tax:

Prostitution is legal in Germany. Prostitutes may work as regular employees with contract, though the vast majority work independently. Brothels are registered businesses that do not need a special brothel license; if food and alcoholic drinks are offered, the standard restaurant license is required.

Prostitutes have to pay income taxes and have to charge VAT for their services, to be paid to the tax office. In practice, prostitution is a cash business and taxes are not always paid, though enforcement has recently been strengthened. The Länder North Rhine-Westfalia, Baden Württemberg and Berlin have initiated a system where prostitutes have to pay their taxes in advance, a set amount per day, to be collected and paid to tax authorities by the brothel owners. North Rhine-Westfalia charges 25 euros per day per prostitute, while Berlin charges 30 euros. In May 2007 authorities were considering plans for a uniform country-wide system charging 25 euros per day.

The first city in Germany to introduce an explicit prostitution tax was Cologne. The tax was initiated early in 2004 by the city council led by a coalition of the conservative CDU and the leftist Greens. This tax applies to striptease, peep shows, porn cinemas, sex fairs, massage parlors, and prostitution. In the case of prostitution, the tax amounts to 150 euros per month and working prostitute, to be paid by brothel owners or by privately working prostitutes. (The area Geestemünder Straße mentioned above is exempt.) Containment of prostitution was one explicitly stated goal of the tax. In 2006 the city took in 828,000 euros through this tax.

Of course, The Greens were involved in taxing it… So let me get this straight: The government is going to tell you to go “Get Fxxx” and then they tax you for it too? Sounds about right to me…

some quotes from the article (that is, admittedly a couple of years old, so maybe it’s been ‘fixed’ by now:

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

By Clare Chapman
12:01AM GMT 30 Jan 2005

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.

BTW, that “waitress” was an unemployed “I.T. Professional” who was willing to work in a bar if that was all there was…

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 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.

How about just asking the employer if “sex is part of the job”? Too hard for a government worker, I guess…

Sidebar on “Forces”: I’m using “forces” the same way it is used in Climate Science. Such a “forcing” may be nothing other than a hypothetical that has never been actually observed to happen. In classical English one would have said “could cause” or “could drive” or “could advocate”. Similarly we would talk about a particular real force by name, such as saying “gravity causes things to fall”. As now the standard is ‘gravity forcing’ causes things to fall or ‘CO2 forcing’ will end the planet: it seems perfectly logical to me to extend it into other areas of the language. So “Germany forces prostitution” in the same way that “CO2 forces warming” and other “forcings” are implied to happen based on a hypothetical potential…

“They are already prepared to push women into jobs related to sexual services, but which don’t count as prostitution,” she said.

“Now that prostitution is no longer considered by the law to be immoral, there is really nothing but the goodwill of the job centres to stop them from pushing women into jobs they don’t want to do.”

Government mandated morality, or mandated lack of it, is just crazy. It comes from the simultaneous solution of a bunch of disjoint laws and rulings with no moral center and a schizoid foundation. It is fickle and authoritarian at the same time it is brain dead. And folks in the EU wonder why we want a “minimal government of limited powers”.

I wonder how long it will be before someone gets the bright idea to “open a new brothel” and call in candidates just for “interviews / tryouts”…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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21 Responses to Government Gone Mad – Germany Forces Prostitution

  1. Chuckles says:

    Nope, no truth in the article at at all, just the usual deranged ravings of the UK media. I’m not sure that anything is ever fact checked here, unless it’s potentially libelous. (it is also a 2005 article, so not ‘hot off the press’ :)

  2. adolfogiurfa says:

    Perhaps it is also in the Agenda 21 too. As it is an ecologically friendly, sustainable, green and carbon free, occupation. I am sure it is recommended also by the WHO.
    Your liberal heart is right.

  3. Rob L says:

    Well prostitution is legal in New Zealand too, and we don’t have any such issues with being forced into it by the Dole administrators.

    Decriminalisation of prostitution has worked out well in New Zealand and I think would be a good thing if implemented the world over as it helps prevent abuses of women involved in the industry.

  4. cm says:

    There’s one tiny problem.

    It’s not true:

    http://www.snopes.com/media/notnews/brothel.asp

    [ Though I note that the link you give says the law does allow it to happen but that the agency involved doesn’t actually do it. A rather subtle distinction. So it is quite possible, but hasn’t actually happened yet (which is sort of what the more sensationalized Telegraph article said). -E.M.Smith]

  5. JRadig says:

    I remember reading about this a few (seven ?) years ago, and never saw any kind of follow up reporting. Which suggests to me, that either the story was exaggerated or it represented an isolated case where someone with better sense prevailed.

    Still, we have no trouble believing that this could be true, which is in itself a comment about the role of government these days.

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    @All:

    Even though old (as I noted when I pointed out the 2005 date) and even if it was “one and done” then “cooler heads” did an over ride of the way the employment office was headed:

    I think it still serves as an example of the way “simultaneous solution” of all the laws and rules leads to nutty behaviour by government lackeys (the main point).

    AND it gives a fun vehicle to “spoof” the “Climate Science” usage of “forcing”. (Everything is a “forcing”, but no “force” is involved… and a Methane Forcing does imply that methane forces something, even if it isn’t big enough to do so or is overridden by other things…)

  7. gallopingcamel says:

    I have long been astonished by the ability of Germans to take vice to the extreme.

    During the Munich Olympics I was driven daily from my hotel to the Forschungs Institute (http://www.forschung-garching.de/) in Garching at around 8:30 in the morning. I noticed a row of flashy cars parked along the road and on the third day asked my host what was going on.

    He said “It’s just our hard working whores conducting their business”.

  8. Pingback: the government run sex industry…a Green’s policy | pindanpost

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @G.C.: Is there anything the Germans don’t take to the extreme? /sarcoff>

    (Note: I have German ancestry, ok…)

  10. Pascvaks says:

    Only considering the obvious, and sure everyone has already glanced at it and moved on, but –

    The nature of sin is not strained!

    To avoid pains of outrageous taxation, people will always find another way to get what they want or need. That which is not in the law is generally considered unlawful.

    Freelancers used to carry umbrellas on not so rainy days along not-so-obvious byways and hiways. I’m sure there’s even something that they carry on rainy days that tells the world what they’re about.

    And, there are still those who do charity work for nothing a’tall.

  11. Tim Clark says:

    “to be collected and paid to tax authorities by the brothel owners”

    I’ve always considered tax collectors analogous to pimps. Both groups enable someone to get screwed.

  12. R. de Haan says:

    This story is not correct. It’s a hoax.

  13. adolfogiurfa says:

    They just want everybody to work…

  14. Hal says:

    Prostitution and alcohol have always been legal in Germany and Austria. I was born and raised in southern Austria and was always able to buy beer at any age (they have recently instituted an age 16 minimum rule for alcohol and tobacco). Alcohol is not specifically taxed (VAT is on everything) and there is no such thing as a “liquor license” ( the story is correct about the restaurant license being required, the alcohol addition in the sentence is invalid).

    In Villach, Austria, a town 10 miles from Italy, a large brothel does a good business, since Italy bans prostitution.

    The Puritan influence on Americans is still going strong, amazingly. Austrian friends are truly puzzled about American attitudes about alcohol, sex (prostitution and even going topless) when they visit.

    Prostitutes in Austria can and do register with the government, get health certificates and pay taxes. This generally does not apply to the sex slaves which are brought in by the Eastern/Russian mafia ever since the iron curtain fell.

    Cultural traits are retained by countries/regions for many generations.

    Hal

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    I suppose it is the English Mom side of things… but it looks like my ‘pitch’ was a bit too subtle. We have many comments (often from folks in or near the German areas / culture) protesting that this is ‘wrong’ or a ‘hoax’ or…

    I waited, hoping someone would note the line about using the definition of forcing used by the climate science folks… but no takers. Does it have to have a “Humor” tag or a /sarcoff>; to get folks to notice?

    It really does spoil it to have to spell out the point…

    At any rate, for those wanting to insist this is all bogus:

    1) Please note how I even defined the point about “forcing”… It is using the word “force” to no longer mean “force” but to mean “suggested or hypothetically possible” as the climate folks do.

    2) IN THAT CONTEXT saying “Germany forcing prostitution” is valid and is not a hoax. There is a statement that has not been refuted that in theory they COULD cut of benefits, but nobody would actually do that. By the traditional meaning of “force”, that makes it a “hoax”, but by the “climate science” definition, it is a valid “forcing” as it COULD happen (even if it doesn’t in real life).

    3) The basic facts are admitted. Prostitution is alive and well on an industrial scale. Workers have taxes and get to join the unemployment system like any other job. ( I make no judgment about the morality of it, other than to point out I think folks ought to have ownership of their own bodies or they have no rights at all…)

    Sheesh… explaining the pun just kills it…

    On the serious side:

    Were it up to me, governments would have no ability to rule on morality of individual choices other than forbidding one party to coerce the other. Two folks make a voluntary contract, no business of the government. This is also why I think the whole “Gay Marriage” thing is bogus. Government ought not be in the marriage business at all anyway. All it ought to take is two (or more?) people and an agreement. That, btw, is how it was in The Old West where such things as Line Marriage were around… along with brothels galore… and, BTW, why most states have a ‘common law’ marriage law. If you act like you are married, you ARE married…

    At any rate, hopefully someone can re-read this and see the cynical twist not-quite-humor-but-on-the-edge and ‘over the top’ in it and get a chuckle…

    BTW, anyone thinking America is “puritanical” has not spent enough time here. Yeah, the GOVERNMENT tends to be puritanical, but the people do all sorts of things… Put another way: The few who are puritanical keep making laws, and the rest of us keep on ignoring them… Vis. most of the ’70s on any college campus…

  16. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Yeah Smith! sometimes you are way tooo deep. ;-) pg

  17. co2fan says:

    E.M>
    BTW, anyone thinking America is “puritanical” has not spent enough time here. Yeah, the GOVERNMENT tends to be puritanical, but the people do all sorts of things…

    That was my point. Even in the old times people railed against the Puritan rules and broke them.

    My point is that the Puritan Ethic (crap as it was and is) is still around us.
    Why, for example does a 24hour supermarket have to lock up the beer refrigerator between 2am and 6am because of these ridiculous liquor laws?

    The sheeple just accept it because “it’s always been like this”, why bother.

    Cultural codes endure,they are ignored but not changed. If a politician tried to change them, the press would be in an uproar.

    My particular disfavorite is the discriminatory rules requiring women to wear tops at the beach.

    Hal

  18. Pascvaks says:

    CO2Fan – Tops at the beach? I missed that. What were you punning about?

    (Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me;-)

    PS: The “Puritan Ethic” or the “Judeo-Christian Ethic” might be called the Code of Our Society; they equate to the common ground. They are both good and not-so-good depending on who you are and when and where you stand. The Foundation of Civilization is not law but ethics. Be careful what you throw out when you want to toss the baby’s bath water out the window. The Blue Laws ain’t the problem. They’re the remnent of yesterday and the foundation of today, as they change or get blown away, everything changes, morphs, into something else, something new, different, and not necessarily better.

  19. Pascvaks says:

    PPS: Forgot to include some others that are way more important than the LAW or the P-Ethic or the J-C Ethic, there’s also, obviously: Your Old Man’s Ethic, you Mom’s Ethic, the Neighborhood Ethic, the Gang Ethic, the School Ethics, the College/University Ethics, the Job Ethics, the Wife and Husband Ethic in a Marriage, the Church Ethic, the Club Ethic, the Web Ethic, the Chiefio Ethic, etc., etc. — Not a single Law, just ethics and little local rules of the road of life.

  20. Pascvaks says:

    (Really pretty spastic this morning;-)

    PPPS: Laws are for potential someday bad guys (we all fit that category eventually), ethics are for everyday everybodys (like you and me). It sure is a crying shame so many folks think there otta’ be a LAW for everything under the Sun. What there really needs to be in this country is a well understood and comprehensive set of ethics and customs. There used to be, “The Code of the West”. Now there’s just a soggy, messy, blob, of pale green, stinky goo, that everybody kind’a use to remember looked like some ancient alien from outer space. I think his name was johnwayne or something, like in Star Wars, one of the good ‘force’ guys.

    Nuf said.

  21. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Pascvaks: And currently it happens that such necessity of laws is the idea of those who think themselves a kind of “intelligentsia”, cool, nice people, with great and white “aspirations” which alter their already damaged and burned by selected cannabis´flowers neurons, and while chatting with their useless peers, concoct such a philosophy, in their altruistic purpose, of improving the lives of such nasty commoners like us, who usually have to perform that most ugly and dirty business called working for a living (Arrrrghh!).
    They call themselves “liberal thinkers”, intelligent atheists or wise agnostics, and who manage , thanks to their absolute lack of morality, to easily reach governments all over the world, and occasionally are promoted to higher posts, this time in the world government, at the UN.

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