Some are just out of prison, others have Ivy League degrees. Many are day laborers who speak no English. A few are women. All are entrepreneurs, in an all-cash, tax-free enterprise that exploits desperation and deadlines.
This is our time,” said Eddie Claborn, 44 and unemployed. “We wait all year for this.”
Mr. Claborn and his shovel were a popular duo on the Upper West Side on Tuesday morning. Between 8:30 and 9 a.m., he had dug out five cars, pocketing $10 or $20 for each one. He was busy freeing a Hyundai imprisoned by a wall of snow when he was summoned by a well-dressed man who could not extricate his truck — despite its four-wheel drive — from the icy grip of a curbside snowdrift.
“Be right with you,” yelled Mr. Claborn, who lives in the nearby Frederick Douglass public housing project. “Just trying to earn an honest buck,” he said later.Read the entire story here. It warms the heart and reminds us that even in obsessively regulated New York City human enterprise can spring up instantly when allowed.
After the last several days' fiasco in plowing the streets, New Yorkers should be just a little more open to privatizing street clearing...but, of course, the political class and public employee unions would crush it.