"I only take cash."
Things had changed in the underground economy since I was growing up. Then, because of fear of a nasty turning them in to the IRS, those who worked off the books were very circumspect about all that. And they only conducted business with their insider circle. Call this new generation of Underground Worker The Trusting Class.
Maybe the reason for the trust is that so many people have become players in the underground economy. In today's article I published in Payment Week I point out that researchers estimate the financial activity totals about $2 trillion a year. And it's gone Main Street. Just about every Dick and Jane are making a few or a lot of bucks off the books. They range from software fixers to companions to the elderly. Here you can read that article.
Since those operating off the books can provide unique bargains, of course, it's in the general population's economic self interest to use their services. Our neighbors will badmouth us if we call an on the books carpet cleaner when friend of a frient Hal can do the whole apartment for so much cheaper.
If there's a job boom, some of the participants in the underground economy may migrate above ground. After all, their employer could be offering benefits, along with complying with environmental and safety regulations. Until then, more and more of us probably will stop first below ground to check prices. The deals are too good to ignore, aren't they.