How many readers of this book can claim that they have never had some involvement with the ‘cash-in-hand’ economy? Sometimes engagement with this sphere is blatantly evident to all concerned, such as when selfemployed builders, plumbers and electricians offer customers lower fees for cash or when employees of formal businesses tender cheaper deals if they do the job personally in the evening or at the weekend. At other times, however, contact with this sphere is less direct and obvious. When customers pick fruit and vegetables from the shelves of a grocery store, how many stop to consider whether the ‘gang-masters’ who organise the agricultural labour have employed illegal immigrants or welfare recipients on a ‘cash-in-hand’ basis? And how many when purchasing an item of clothing from a designer shop pause to think about whether it was produced in an underground ‘sweatshop’ using child labour? Closer to home, how many of us even contemplate that we might be partaking in the cash-in-hand sphere when an acquaintance is rewarded with ‘a drink’ (i.e. cash) for providing us with a particular piece of merchandise or some service?.
KeywordsSocial Capital Advanced Economy Illegal Immigrant Welfare Recipient Formal Business
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