Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Even in the U.S., informal merchants are part of what keeps the formal economy afloat. Consider the newspaper hawkers of South Florida, who testified recently against a proposed ban on street selling (see The Suncoast News.) By turning to a network of informal roadside hawkers to augment the distribution of their papers, formal Newspaper companies gain circulation (and, by extension, advertising revenue through higher readership numbers.) The newspaper companies do not pay these hawkers and provide them no benefits, other than orange safety vests. Pasco County Commissioners vowed to create an exemption in the proposal to allow street sales of newspapers. But no word on whether the commissioners understand that their proposal will also block people from selling peanuts on the streets, too.