Los Angeles Underground Economy Goes Mainstream

Reporters shocked at openness of participants


Earlier this year, a report estimated the U.S. underground economy—in which income goes unreported—to be approximately $2 trillion. TakePart Live's Jacob Soboroff went around Los Angeles to meet with people who constitute this shadow economy and find out why they're a part of it.

As he discovers in our second "TPL Disrupt" segment, a wide range of people constitute the unreported $2 trillion. Drug dealers and prostitutes don't report to the IRS for obvious reasons, but college graduates and other skilled workers are also among this group.  

When we set out with Jacob to shoot the story, these underground workers were so easy to find that they might as well have been in the mainstream. They were also surprisingly frank about their unreported incomes, an indication of how commonplace this has become, especially in the current economy.