The Hindu reviews a new book (At Work in the Informal Economy of India, by Jan Bremen) that takes a rather different view from the one I take in Stealth of Nations.
I haven't seen the book, but, according to the review's summation, the System D street economy in fact means waged labour on crushingly
oppressive terms. The supposedly self-employed include street vendors,
who are “easy prey” for the police, sex workers hawked around by their
pimps, home-based workers or stallholders permanently in debt to
suppliers and agents, and the like.... A “floating army” of the jobless fills the
daily-wage markets, which are in effect slave-auctions.