Sunday, April 3, 2011

Russians live in the shadows by Sean Sawyer

Almost a fifth of Russia’s working population are employed in a shadow economy with informal contracts or tribe paid to the state.

“You could call it an informal labour market and undisclosed payment for labour. According to today’s estimates, around 13 million people work there, or 17% to 18% of the economically active population,” Alexander Surinov, head of the state statistics agency. 

The figures for this shadow economy did not include those employed in illegal spheres such as prostitution, drug dealing, pornography and piracy.

The shadow economy accounts for around 16% of the GDP and includes covert transactions by legal entities as well as the casual labour market and people who raise home produce for their own use, Surinov said.

Individuals whether they sell vegetables or their bodies, sell this product  because consumers find a value in their service. Both the farmer and the prostitute live in the shadows at the barrel of a gun. Government is force, the black market is free exchange.

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