While the deserts of Gold are considered to be uninhabitable, there are some who... well, inhabit them. Law's End is a den of rogues, thieves, and other lawbreakers, somewhere within the sands. Under no one's control and with no one governing them, the place is full of wanted men, or men who can't go anywhere else. While this would seem to be a place of chaos and terror, people in Law's End like to maintain a low profile... Not only could someone gut you if you rock the boat, but many of those high in power could just as easily sell you out to the people you're running from, which is in some cases even worse.
Most resources in Law's End are obtained just the way you'd expect; either through smuggling, or out and out theft (but only outside of Law's End, of course). The famous 'metal birds', aka sky pirates, are said to perch their flying machines in the ruins, and only a mad man would look for them out in the desert, and often deliver ill-gotten goods from afar to the people.
What remains is a weird sense of community, looking out for others, hoping they'll look out for you. As long as you aren't working for the law, and don't cause problems, you're welcome in Law's End. Well... at the very least, they won't kick you out.