I recently paid a plumber $120 to crawl under my house and change out three drains. He works for a plumbing company but came over and did it on his day off. (Got him by word-of-mouth. Theres no way I would have had somebody do this job at the price the plumbing company wanted.) I know a roofer and a carpenter who will do one heck of a job, for cash. I think they are otherwise unemployed. I know a woman who will hook up your air conditioner and get it running. Shell tell you what to buy on the internet and how to get it shipped and help you install it. No warranty, but its 1/3 the cost of having a company do it. These people are pretty busy.
Now, having had a company, Im annoyed. But unemployed people cant afford paying the freight to have any of these jobs done with insured, bonded, licensed workers. As an employer, once you add the mandatory requirements for health insurance, unemployment tax, social security, and other freight, you must charge $100/hour and $250 to send a truck out. So a simple, minor job, done by the book, costs the client $500-1,000. When the client has no income, they simply put off doing these things or they trade for them or they buy them off-book for cash. And, no, this isnt healthy for the economy. In the Soviet Union, everybody had their day job where they pretended to work and the government pretended to pay them; then, they had their real work. Theyd stand on street corners with a toolbox and fix cars, or do plumbing, or make illegal alcohol. Thats what the government is driving us to; an unregulated, off-book economy. And, heres the thing. Once the bulk of the economy has converted to off-book, it wont convert back.
That’s why the government would like nothing better than to eliminate cash. If all transactions are done digitally they can trace it and tax the hell out of it. Right down to sales tax at a garage sale.
Comming soon. Due to the extreme cost of paper money the Government will be going to the credit system. All electronic.
My experience is that a lot of these off the books skilled workers are on disability. Ticks me off...