It is possible that much of the success of the economy in Los Angeles might not actually be exactly above ground. While they are ‘seen’ in the literal sense of the word, they are part of the ‘underground’ shopping mall. Indeed, according to an Economic Roundtable report, one can purchase food, clothing, cellphone cases and everything in between from approximately 50,000 street vendors throughout LA City.
Of course many of these are not playing by the official, legal rules. This means that an estimated $43 million a year in tax revenue is going unreported. Should these underground vendors be working in a kosher fashion, this staggering amount of money would be adding to the LA tax economy.
Interestingly, at the end of last month it was reported that “the largest container ship to ever dock at a North American port arrived at Los Angeles.” Perhaps it was bringing in some of the wares that people in the city are selling underground! As Mayor Eric Garcetti pointed out: “The arrival of the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin sends a powerful message that our port stands among the world’s greatest, and that we are prepared to continue growing and adapting to the demands of our global economy.”