The sharing economy is bullsh!t. Here’s how we can take it back
The sharing economy is bullshit. Airbnb is a rental broker. Uber and Lyft are unregulated cab services. Taskrabbit and similar “servant economy” enterprises let well-off people pay less well-off people to do their chores — without providing anyone the benefits and security of traditional employment. “Sharing” has been appropriated and stripped of all meaning by people trying to sell you things, much like sustainability was. Once “green” became hip and important about a decade ago, corporate bigwigs started preaching about sustainable profits and misleading eco-labels got slapped on single-use disposable plastic water bottles. A recent piece in The Nation indicted the so-called sharing economy on multiple counts: The sharing economy is a nice way for rapacious capitalists to monetize the desperation of people in the post-crisis economy while sounding generous, and to evoke a fantasy of community in an atomized population. And sharing, real sharing, is important. Hence this series.
Related: Collaborative Economy
• our fundamental notions & understanding
• money, values, & behavior
• Sharing Economy 10
• Local Economies