A small follow-up to the discussion presented in
How much does a "chaiwala" on Midnapore/Kharagpur local train make? -
Apparently one of my friends had this (or a similar one) discussion with some of his friends. He did point out the following things.
1. The license is usually not held by the vendor but by brokers who lease out the license. This is certainly illegal. However, on Indian local trains, not every thing you observe respects the laws of the system. This is even more true for areas less prone to vandalism and terrorism. Where there is danger lurking behind civilian backs, the government sure tightens the "fuzzyness" of the bendable laws. Midnapore/Kharagpur line is a very safe zone and hence, nobody cares.
2. To allow the "fuzziness" of bendable laws, the vendor pays a significant amount to policemen and authorities as bribe.
3. A person feeds at least 4-5 people in his family with this income.
While I do agree with propositions 1 and 2, I must point out that the original analysis sliced the calculated income by half. The causes were not explicitly mentioned. We can include these expenses into the sliced half. Proposition 3 pushes my argument even further. A comparison still stands because I know of many fellow scholars who support an entire family with the stipend they get.