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Robert Neuwirth: The power of the informal economy

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The unlicensed economic network of street market venders and pushcart hawkers around the world, sometimes referred to as “System D,” raises the question of future wealth creation. This market fosters entrepreneurship, which has created 1.8 billion jobs, according to journalist and author Robert Neuwirth. “[The informal economy] is happening openly and aboveboard. There’s nothing underground about it.” A segment of this economy is supported by practices of copyright infringement, which even companies that have been infringed upon can find useful. Neuwirth spoke to a shoe manufacturer that uses piracy as market research—they know they’ve done something wrong if their shoes aren’t being pirated. Is it perhaps time to embrace this economy?