Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Going (under)ground

Betty Beard writes about the “informal” economy in the AZ Republic, July 25, 2010.

Informal…um, shadow economy, cash economy, off the books economy…or as I like to say, Waterworld Without the Water.

Yes, people from Mexico with sketchy papers ask for cash when they come by to trim your trees—but some of these people also have bank accounts and will take checks. So it’s not really an immigration deal.

Some estimate the shadow economy at as much as 10% of all the goods and services.

The illegals that do prefer cash, the story said, prefer it because that is what they are used to, not because a bank is going to check their nationality (which they won't).

Still, immigrants pay sales taxes or property taxes via rentals.

They don’t pay income taxes, but most do not make enough to even owe tax. The SS they pay goes into the treasury and they can’t claim it later.

What about education and health—experts say these costs from illegals amount to 1% of GDP.

Immigrants do send a lot of money out of the country.

I also know non-immigrants who use prepaid electricity—cash loaded on a card called an M-Power card. If it runs out, the a/c goes off until they go to the electric company.

With interest in banks at part of one percent, why not put the stuff in your mattress?

Entropy is growing in the US, in my opinion. Everything is more hand-to-mouth, more desperate.

Immigration has almost nothing to do with it.

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