And BTW - All money spent on a job is up to the customer, not me. So you go on and spend that extra $500 and pull that permit to change-out a water heater because you read it on the internet.
Also, what does "or if they get caught" mean? Seems to me that it clearly states that there is a law that the city can point to. It does not mean "you cannot get caught because there is no law." And there you go misstating what I wrote. So yes, a person can go 40mph in a 35 zone all they want until the unlikely chance they get cited.
You are ridiculous and you need no help from anyone here on that score.
You can go on about how things work in Harold's "real world", and to a degree, you're correct. In many states and municipalities you may get a slap on the wrist for not pulling permits but the consequences can be serious, exceedingly so. Additionally, work may have to be removed if performed without a permit regardless of whether or not in conforms to current codes. It happens and contractors can get burned in this process.
While the homeowner may be able to pull a permit for work a contractor is to perform work a contractor is obligated to have that permit. Not only does that permit and associated inspections protect the homeowner it also protects the contractor.
On a business related, by having violations on your record, as a contractor, it can affect your ability to get work. Permitting costs are generally included during the proposal stage and are a reasonable included cost in an estimate.
Finally, people come here with questions about the law and we provide answers based on the law. Your jaundiced perspective that runs contrary to the law is not helpful.
"Where do those stairs go?"
"They go up!"
As far as "all money spent on a job being up to the customer" then you need to build that permit fee into your price because it will be you not the customer that pays when the agency finds you or suspends your licence.
For the record nobody here is interested in what you have gotten away with nor will we generally tell others to do something that is illegal because they will probably get away with it. That would be wrong and not the purpose of this forum.