New Internationalist Issue 278
The material that follows has been provided by New Internationalist
The Economic Totem Pole
What you see is definitely not what you get if you look at modern industrial economies in the traditional way. Underlying the visible monetary economy is a whole non-monetary area of activity which is both invisible and undervalued. Without the strong shoulders of the bottom characters in this totem pole the market economy at the top would quickly tumble down.
Cash transactions which are hidden to avoid
The natural resource base is the largest and most basic support for the
Official market economy
All transactions and relationships involve money - including wages, consumption, production, investment and savings.
Money spent by government on social security, defence, education and infrastructure like roads, bridges, airports, sewers and public transport.
All non-market economic activities. Includes subsistence farming, housework, parenting, volunteer labour, home healthcare and DIY. Also includes barter or skill exchanges. In Northern economies the informal economy is estimated to be one-and-a-half times the size of the visible market economy.
Illustration by P J POLYP
©Copyright: New Internationalist 1996
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