Getting paid in beer seems like a pretty sweet deal. And, quite honestly, Tapped Life gets paid in beer fairly often, and yeah, it’s pretty sweet. But, what if you got paid to do your every day 9 to 5er in cans of beer? Well, leave it to Amsterdam to figure out a way to deal with its too-many-drunks-in-the-park-are-causing-problems problem by offering those drunks a chance to clean up the city and get paid to drink. If you hadn’t already considered Amsterdam the Mecca of debauchery, you will now.
Amsterdam’s new pay scale was brought to our attention by the fine folks at the New York Times. Apparently, there are way too many Amsterdammers who like to be drunk all of the time. This only presents a problem for the city when they choose to be drunk in public parks. Obviously, it makes the city look bad. Unlike the hash bar scene and unbridled red light district, because hey, those are tourist destinations; i.e., money makers. No need to meddle there.
So, the “alcoholics” were given an opportunity: stop drinking in the park and we’ll give you a job on litter patrol that pays 5 cans of beer a day, some tobacco, lunch and about $13 in cash. The best part: you get to drink 2 beers when you arrive at work, 2 at lunch, and another at the end of the day. There’s no drinking while in the public eye, but heck, you can still smoke your tobacco while you’re cleaning the gutters.
The city of Amsterdam is not running this program. The Rainbow Foundation, a private foundation that helps the homeless and addicted is. They are using their own funds to pay for the beer. If the government was paying for it, you can only imagine the outcry from all the other Amsterdammers who go to work every day so that they can pay out of their own pockets for their addictions. Suddenly there would be a lot of government funding of bongs and brownie mix.
Tapped Life is impressed by the progressive approach taken by the Netherlands to curb the homeless, jobless alcoholic scene in Amsterdam. Even if this solution isn’t lauded by the government, it is an approach worth experimenting with. There is a waiting list for people who want to join the program and the people interviewed for the Times’ article said they are glad to be productive members of society again. Who’s to say that this program won’t lead the participants to practicing moderation or abstinence even?
Tapped Life is considering implementing its own 5-beers-during-the-work-day work regiment. Or, moving to Amsterdam. Either way, our guess is productivity will skyrocket. Proost!
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