I had dinner with my dad tonight who told me a crazy story about tactics governments have used to fight underground markets... 1/
15 years ago, China economy was largely cash-based, making it easy for businesses to do a lot of transactions off-the-record. 2/
China was missing out on about a billion yuan of tax revenue per year due to these informal or underground markets. 3/
The solution? Lottery tickets.
China instituted a system whereby businesses would use a special machine to print receipts. Those special receipts would also contain scratch-off lottery tickets. 4/
Consumers started demanding these receipts-cum-lotto tickets whenever they would buy fruit from their local merchant or grab a water bottle from the guy on the street. 5/
And every time the machine printed a receipt, the transaction would be recorded in a more auditable way than the old paper system, making it difficult for merchants to fail to declare and file taxes. 6/6