Leave it to those crazy Dutchmen to think up an idea like this:
AMSTERDAM (AP) — The men streaming in and out of a small clubhouse in east Amsterdam could almost be construction workers at the end of a hard day, taking off their orange reflective vests and cracking jokes as they suck down a few Heinekens, waiting for their paychecks. But it’s only noon, the men are alcoholics and the beers themselves are the paycheck.
In a pilot project that has drawn attention in the Netherlands and around the world, the city has teamed up with a charity organization in hopes of improving the neighborhood and possibly improving life for the alcoholics. Not by trying to cure them, but instead by offering to fund their drinking outright. Participants are given beer in exchange for light work collecting litter, eating a decent meal, and sticking to their schedule.
“For a lot of politicians it was really difficult to accept, `So you are giving alcohol?'” Amsterdam East district mayor Fatima Elatik said. “No, I am giving people a sense of perspective, even a sense of belonging. A sense of feeling that they are OK and that we need them and that we validate them and we don’t ostracize our people, because these are people that live in our district.”
Hey, they did it with soft drugs and that has had its own bumps in the road. First off, is the fact that their neighbors are all pissed off at them for this stuff, then they tried to keep tourists out, unsuccessfully I add, to please the angry neighbors, but that didn’t work out well either. And while this is not reported, they are no longer allowing new coffee shops to be opened, even as they close down others. That’s usually not a sign that things are working out well.
What the hell can go wrong with giving alcoholics dignity to earn their alcohol? All I suspect is that this will not end well for them either. What if the drunkards want German beer instead? or worse: Belgian beer! This is gonna cause problems. As long as nobody is spilling the stuff nobody can be accused of alochol abuse, I guess. What about a program for sex adicts? Bill Clinton wants to know….