The Self-Reliance Economy

>Basically, they hire a middleman. Procter & Gamble, for instance, realized that although Walmart is its single largest customer, System D outposts [off-the-books, self-reliance economies], when you total them up, actually account for more business. So Procter & Gamble decided to get its products into those stores.

>**In each country, P&G hires a local distributor—sometimes several layers of local distributors—to get the product from a legal, formal, tax-paying company to a company willing to deal with unlicensed vendors who don’t pay taxes.**

>That’s how Procter & Gamble gets Downy fabric softener, Tide laundry detergent, and all manner of other goods into the squatter communities of the developing world. **Today, in aggregate, these markets make up the largest percentage of the company’s sales worldwide.**

— Robert Neuwirth in an interview with WIRED’s Robert Capps, [Why Black Market Entrepreneurs Matter to the World Economy](

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