Amsterdam Pays Its Workers in Beer

The Netherlands continues to make progressive strides in the world of social reformation. This time, they’re paying alcoholics with beer. Why would a municipality not only support, but actually enable an addict? The New York Times reports on the measures taken by a local foundation to “[help] the homeless, drug addicts and alcoholics get back on their feet.” Instead of spending their time and money drinking excessive amounts—some in the city’s public parks—participants are enlisted as city street cleaners in exchange for a modest stipend of five beers, free lunch and 10 euros a day. Amsterdam’s mayor called the campaign a “cleaning project.” Cleaner streets and cleaner parks for a ration of beer? It may be controversial, but switching out the hard stuff in exchange for a cleaner city seems better than the alternative. [The New York Times]