Friday, July 07, 2006

The Fascinating Intersection of Government and Vice

I know I know - intersection? Government is vice! But two stories are catching my eye today.
The first is New Jersey - there is a state government shutdown this week as the budget talks go into overtime. All non-essential personnel have been ordered to stop working until a budget is agreed on. Who is hurt the most - the children? The libraries? No, it's the gamblers. Casinos are not allowed to operate in Atlantic City and elsewhere unless a government inspector is on at all times. They haven't closed the casinos; so tourists and nickel-cup ladies are roaming up and down the carpeted aisles, gazing longingly at the slot machines just past the phalanx of security guards. Why are the suckers always the first to get screwed?
Speaking of getting screwed: Germany has legalized prostitution. Germany also has a state unemployment department. If the item I read on a couple of blogs is true last month, then these two statements combined into a truly horrible situation.
A woman was laid off from her job as an office clerk, filed for unemployment, and was ordered to take temp work as a prostitute. She is appealing the decision, reportedly. I wish I could find the details for you but they're not turning up on my Yahoo searches, and I don't want to drill down too far. But if so, isn't it the best story ever?

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