Meaning of BLACK MARKET (CONT.) in English

BLACK MARKET (CONT.)

Even in relatively normal times, however, there are important areas of black market activity in the US economy. First of all, and most clearly "criminal" in the eyes of the general public, there is always a certain amount of illicit trade in stolen goods passed on directly (or indirectly, through "fences") from burglars, jewel thieves, cattle rustlers, hijackers, shoplifters, light-fingered employees, and the like. In addition, black market trade remains very widespread (and probably still is growing) in certain demerit goods which remain strongly in demand, even though federal and/or state governments have sought to prohibit them entirely (narcotics and most other psychoactive recreational drugs, hard-core pornography, the services of prostitutes, false i.d. cards, ozone-depleting Freon for automobile air conditioners, Cuban cigars, the gall bladders of bears , products made from elephant tusks) or to monopolize the product in government hands (running of lotteries-for-profit, fully automatic firearms) or to tax them very heavily in a discriminatory fashion (moonshine whiskey, bootleg cigarettes). Heavy rates of taxation on otherwise perfectly legitimate wages, salaries, and unincorporated small business profits (currently a minimum federal tax take of 18% for income tax plus more than 15% for social security tax, even before beginning to tally up state and local income taxes and license fees) provide strong incentives for illegal working "off the books" for cash to evade taxes, at least in low capital or temporary service occupations where government detection is unlikely and/or punishment would probably be mild (lawn care services, free-lance handymen, automobile mechanics, household servants, baby-sitters, plumbers, electricians, part-time beauticians, locksmiths, appliance repairmen, temporary day-laborers, computer consultants, tutors, etc.). Putting even an approximate number on the full extent of black market activity in the US (or in any country) is very hard to do and necessarily rather imprecise, but, for what it is worth, economists who have made serious and systematic efforts at estimation claim that black market activity probably amounts to at least 10% of US GNP . In many Third World countries (which tend to put a tremendous number of detailed economic regulations on the books but have only very inefficient bureaucratic capabilities for enforcing them), black market activity is believed to produce well over half of GNP .

English glossary of political economy terms.      Английский глоссарий политико-экономических терминов.