How Do San Diego Progressives Want to End Poverty? Capitalism, Of Course.

Brian Brady Brian Brady 7 Comments


If you only read one article at the leading local, progressive website San Diego Free Press, read “An Informal Economy…“.  It is one of the greatest examples of how free markets produce prosperity for the people who need it most.  To wit:

The yard man hook up is inevitable when someone does a good job and the fair and effective mechanic has more business than he or she can handle without an advertising budget. Business cards appear overnight in windshields or driver side car windows or hang randomly from fence posts. Renters make a spare room and rent to a family member or friend to help cover the rent.

The informal economy is alive and well in City Heights.

Eighty seven percent (87%) of people in City Heights buy food and clothing outside the supermarket and big box stores according to a new study commissioned by the City Heights Community Development Corporation and the Ford Foundation. They are consumers engaged in the “informal economy” and most of them are low income and need to use the resources of the informal marketplace to survive.

The author’s commentary of this truly free market?  Legalize it:

Second it is suggested that an “enterprise zone” be defined and authorized by City Council action to “legalize” informal businesses especially push carts, and develop a community level effort to grow them. For example the cost of getting a incense to operate a push cart is over $5,000 and requires that to stay stationery and attached to an existing business. The study also recommends a live work overlay zone that in certain areas would legalize the businesses operating out of garages and backyards.

My argument would be, of course, to grow that enterprise zone and become more inclusive by permitting more people to participate in the “informal economy”.  Freedom works.


Comments 7

  1. Also i like how its full of praise for the ‘informal’ economy but back in the day this untaxed commerce was called a “black market.”

  2. I praise them when they get it right over there. They’re nice people who are quickly learning that crony capitalism is not the type of capitalism I preach.

  3. Post

    Thanks for the link to the Economist article, Elliot. The peer-to-peer economy is simply amazing to me. The “informal economy” is revolutionizing productivity on the internet

  4. I can “afford” to not shop at big box stores and supermarkets, but I’m not one to pay higher prices to no purpose. Indeed, my wife and I are comfortably well off PRECISELY because we are prudent spenders.

    As we point to our children, the less we spend now, the bigger our bequests will be to charities and our progeny (in that order). Stated differently, any unneeded spending we do today comes at the expense of our beneficiaries.

    My younger son USED to bug me to get a fine new car — dumping my perfectly functional, reliable 10 year old Altima. When I pointed out this correlation between our spending today and his future well-being, well — that was the last time I heard such exhortations.

  5. .As far as I am concerned ,Rider has my vote when questing for an estate for his children. Although family comes before charity, it is always recommended to keep the children pleased when considering they will be soon be your guardians. What goes around will certainly come around.

    Bartering is the only system to really negate government demands. Gray and black markets are simply criminal in nature. To call the black market an informal market is way off base.

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