January 31st, 2005

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08:54 pm - on whoring... the cure for our unemployment woes...

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on whoring... the cure for our unemployment woes... - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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From: dcalle Date: February 3rd, 2005 - 09:25 am (Link)
This is most certainly not rape - we are misusing the term "forced". If the story is true, they are not threatening her with a gun or even imprisonment, they're just not sending her a check.

I have been laid off, and I have accepted unemployment checks, and I have slung hay bales on a farm for extra cash. I would not work as a prostitute because that would break my marriage commitments, but I wouldn't equate not receiving checks as being forced to become a prostitute.

Under VA law, the money I received during unemployment was part of my unemployment insurance - a plan that I have paid far more into than I received. Also, at the end of the year, that money was deducted from my tax return anyway. So, given that it's my money in the first place, I probably would have had something to say about it if the money was withheld because I didn't do something because I thought it was unreasonable.

I'd imagine that the German law wouldn't require a paraplegic to take a job as a lumberjack, so it just sounds like they might want to add a few more conditions so that this situation doesn't arise again.

Personally, I think unemployment insurance shouldn't be compulsory anyway - then you'd have your choice of unemployment insurance company (or none at all...how are your savings and/or your dumpster-diving skills?) and you could make sure you read their fine-print before sending them a dime.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: February 4th, 2005 - 08:51 am (Link)
So, I agree that withholding funds is not the same as holding someone at gunpoint. If the story is true, then you are correct, this would not be rape in the legal sense. My problem with it is more an ethical issue with how the law is set up. If there is to be mandatory payment into an insurance plan for unemployment (and we don't know that that's how the German system works, but it is how the PA and VA systems work), then I would like for the recipient of benefits to have more of a say in the conditions that terminate said coverage. This is obviously tricky. If I break my leg, I don't really have the option to mandate that the insurance company only fix my leg through herbal therapy. However, I do have some amount of control over my care. I can pick my doctor for instance (from an approved list). If I am laid off of my job as a computer programmer, I should (at least in my world view) be able to reject a job as a lumberjack or a prostitute without affecting by benefits despite the fact that I have working limbs and a working penis. That doesn't seem to be the way that any of the systems are set up.

I will grant that this yield the problem of people milking the system. If benefits are unlimited, then I could be laid off and just never work again. However I submit that this wouldn't happen as often as some might worry. First of all benefits are not indefinite. Sooner or later, I will exhaust my alotted funds, and then I'm on my own. Secondly, the checks that I received under unemployment were much less than I could have made working. Just under half, in fact. That kind of sucked, so honestly, I wanted to get back to work as soon as possible.

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