Why are the shopkeepers so powerful? The shopkeepers are so powerful because they have the money. The money is what these families need in order to survive and the shopkeepers have all of it so if the shopkeepers want a certain type of bag at a certain rate, then the families are going to have to oblige to those rules in order to survive. There is nothing that the families on the streets can do as they have no money and no education so their only hope is working all day for very little money so that they can have the basic needs to survive. It is a vicious cycle that cannot be stopped.
Should we allow them to hold onto their power or should we try to challenge it? Why? How? I think that since it is already an existing cycle that works for lots of people, it is going to be very hard to challenge it. The people that make the bags have no power because they have no money or no education so it is going to be very hard to change that. The shopkeepers have the power because the people need the money and cannot live with out it and since they do not know of an alternate plan than they are usually stuck in that cycle for ever. The only way out that I can see is if the government decides to pay for basic education for the youth of the families so that they can grow up and be able to get a proper job with proper pay. That would also take less people of the streets so that the ones who are forced to stay can get better rates on the stuff that they produce as their will be less options for the shopkeepers.