So there's a news story about a woman in Germany losing her unemployment because she refused to take a job as a legal prostitute. The immediate reaction of course is "how horrible that they expect this woman to sell her body like that." Others (like cuddlyd00m - not to pick on him) might look at is as a problem with social welfare programs.
I think these are Red Herrings though. The problem does not lie with whether or not prostitution should be illegal. Similarly, its not so much an aspect of whether or not welfare makes sense, because the question isn't whether or not handouts should be given its the qualification for stopping those handouts.
I've spent a lot of time being unemployed over the last couple of years. And honestly I only took several jobs (including my current one) because I had to. Some of those jobs really sucked. Some have worked out better than others. And I was really pretty lucky, because I was never really forced into something that I found absolutely reprehensible. Actually, I did come close when a client asked me to do something immoral and questionably illegal, I refused and had my contract terminated at my request. But I was at least able to stay more or less in the career that I was already in. Though not totally. As I've pointed out before, if I could help it, I'd never be a software engineer or computer programmer. I've been doing it because I don't have a choice.
thwomp pointed out that this should be special. Being forced to be a prostitute is different than being forced to be a waitress. But I don't think that's really the case. I mean, sure I understand where she's coming from. Being forced to have sex is different than serving food, but the law can't be used to make value judgments like that. In order to work, the law needs to be cold and logical. If prostitution is to be legalized and treated like any other profession, it must be treated like any other profession. As I understand the law in PA, had an interaction design job become available and offered to me producing the web site for the KKK, I would have been forced to take it. The Klan isn't doing anything illegal. And American law (I don't know the nuances of German law) doesn't even consider it to be doing anything inherently wrong. Should the military be able to force enlistment from the unemployment pool? Should pharmaceutical testing companies like NOVUM be able to force the jobless to become guinea pigs?
As for the issue of welfare and unemployment subsidies, that's a little hairier, but I think its still orthogonal. This woman's problems are not caused by the existence of government assistance, but instead by the regulations regarding disqualification from said services. I for one don't think that the government should be able to force a person to take a job they don't want. I understand the fear that without motivation lazy ass niggers will sit around and collect welfare checks to feed their 18 illegitimate children and buy the weed, and that may be true, but forced employment doesn't seem to be the answer. I don't know the answer. But I do know that I grew up on welfare eating government cheese. I also know that I spent a large portion of 2003 and 2004 collecting unemployment checks. And I furthermore know that both of those situations completely fucking sucked, and there wasn't a single day in either of those periods where I (or my mother when I was younger) wasn't working my ass off trying to find a way out. When you're unemployed you hear a lot of people say stuff like "a job is a job" or "none of them are beneath you" or "there's nothing wrong with an honest days work." Well you know what, fuck you. It has nothing to do with whether I'm collecting unemployment or welfare or food stamps or whatever. No matter how poor I get, and no matter how much garbage I have to eat, I'll be Jay-Zdamned if I'm going to stand in the fields picking cotton in Mississippi. A job is not a job. This woman didn't want to be a prostitute. Her unemployment status had nothing to do with it.
Now on the other hand if you want to chastise the woman for turning down a job where she got to legally lay in bed and fuck all day, well, then be my guest. Hell, if someone wants to give me say $50K a year plus benefits and a decent 401K to be a man-whore then I'll quit my job tomorrow. Willing to relocate for a decent signing bonus and stock options. References available upon request.