INFORMAL EMPLOYMENT AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO WORK IN THE FORMAL SECTOR, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO IMMIGRANT OWNED BUSINESSES

Conference of the International Journal of Arts & Sciences (2013)
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Abstract
In a world of more than 7 billion people, 80% live on less than $10 per day. Five (5) percent of global income is generated by the poorest 40 percent of the world’s population; while the wealthiest 20% of the population generates 75 percent of world income. Economics attempts to define or describe behavior and it ventures into the realm of predicting. Economics should therefore accept responsibility for controlling/directing realities. If we can understand, define and predict behavior, we should accept the responsibility for changing behavior, and as economists, bring that to bear on material upliftment of the greater majority of the earth’s populace. . Since 1847, numerous role-players have debated and worked tirelessly to promote the welfare of those who are marginalised from mainstream society. To what avail? Exactly one hundred and fifty eight years later, one of the iconic statesmen of the twentieth century, Nelson Mandela, stated: “Massive poverty and obscene inequality are such terrible scourges of our time – times in which the world boasts breathtaking advances in science, technology, industry and wealth accommodation – that they have to rank alongside slavery and apartheid as social evils” (as quoted in Green 2009:2).Clearly, significant progress in addressing the issue has not been made. A concerted drive by the United Nations led to the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals in September 2000, and was endorsed by 189 world leaders. Some progress has been made during the past decade, but it is apparent that many countries are not going to be able to reach their goals. Hence, in order to address poverty at its root, attention is increasingly focused on the contribution of the informal sector and small, medium and micro enterprises. This paper explores such and offers alternatives to combat the spectres of structural unemployment and poverty.
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