Here in New York City, as is well known, our officials never prosecute illegal aliens. Nor do they prosecute — or even discourage — people running veritable businesses selling stuff on the sidewalks. Much of that stuff, of course, is counterfeit designer items from China, as well as goods like socks and scarves. There are also dozens of unlicensed fruit and vegetable stands. This above ground underground economy pays no taxes, and they often compete with and undersell local stores — which seems unfair. Not to mention that they clutter busy streets. You would think a pro-business administration, like Michael Bloomberg’s, would not tolerate that. And you would be wrong.
Now, adding insult to injury, politics enters the equation.
As it happens, most of the counterfeit purses, sunglasses, and some other shlock are sold by West Africans, most of whom are here illegally. In recent days, around the city I have noticed a new addition to their wares: rows of baseball caps with an ”Obama” logo. No McCain caps — ever. If you ask, they laugh in a none too friendly way. It’s not that I don’t get it. But you would think that some of these children of God would carry “McCain” caps or t-shirts, if not in recognition of his support for them, then merely because some people might buy them. Market principles dictate that. And you would be wrong.