Thursday, March 15, 2007

A New Meaning for "Senior Discount"

Somehow the idea of flashing an AARP card to get "senior rates" seems a little pale when compared to conditions in Germany, at least on the basis of the lead to one of today's SPIEGEL ONLINE stories:

If you have to get old, Germany isn't a bad place to do so. As well as generous state pensions, German senior citizens enjoy a host of benefits during their twilight years. Now, in addition to discounted rail travel, cut-price cinema tickets and cheap museum entry, Germany's old folk have a new perk to take advantage of: a 50- percent discount at Germany's largest brothel.

The brothel "Pascha" in Cologne is now offering senior citizens a 50 percent discount on sex services -- but only between the hours of 12 and 5 p.m., and only upon proof of age. The offer, which many would argue beats free coffee at McDonalds, is valid for clients aged 66 and over.

The reporter neglected to mention that this offer may also be healthier!

There are a variety of ways in which this is just a matter of good economic sense. If you have a population that is not only getting older but staying healthier in its old age, then there is something to be said for rethinking what constitutes the welfare of that population. Besides, while I am no expert on this business in any part of the world, I would think that the discount is valid during a relatively slow portion of the working day. (Unless I am mistaken, back in the days of its thriving existence, Theater in America ran a play based on this particular "work shift.")

The reporter also noted that this particular practice had a precedent that had taken a slightly different approach:

A brothel in Dresden in economically hard-hit eastern Germany made headlines in 2005 when it introduced a 20-percent discount for the long-term unemployed.

So it would appear that there is more to SPIEGEL than those well-considered analyses that I usually cite!

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