Linked to this article from Reason.com...
“When we all finished filing our tax returns last week, there was a little something missing: two trillion dollars. That’s how much money Americans may have made in the past year that didn’t get reported to the I.R.S., according to a recent study by the economist Edgar Feige, who’s been investigating the so-called underground, or gray, economy for thirty-five years. It’s a huge number: if the government managed to collect taxes on all that income, the deficit would be trivial. This unreported income is being earned, for the most part, not by drug dealers or Mob bosses but by tens of millions of people with run-of-the-mill jobs—nannies, barbers, Web-site designers, and construction workers—who are getting paid off the books. Ordinary Americans have gone underground, and, as the recovery continues to limp along, they seem to be doing it more and more.”
What?! Stop the presses! The barbers and nannies aren’t paying their income taxes! Don’t they know there’s an “income gap”?! Don’t they care a about “economic equality”?! Greedy ass construction workers…we could shore up the deficit right now if they’d just pay up! That’s the government’s money you cretins!
“Too much off-the-books work is not good for the social contract,” Venkatesh says. “Economies work best when people have some sense, however abstract, that they are all tied together.””
According to the article, Venkatesh is a sociologist. That’s why he sounds like an idiot (on economics). Economies work best when people, Business moguls and barbers, are able to keep their money in their own damned pockets. Back to your ivory tower Venkatesh, the rest of us are too busy figuring out how to subvert the thieves in Washington to worry about adhering to the terms of your fairytale “social contract”.