Wednesday, August 20, 2014

(The Big Disrupt) Sharing Economy: The Sharing Economy is Bullshit

Bullshit has always been rife in the world but this sharing economy bullshit is unconscionable. Needless to say, the sharing economy has nothing so with sharing and everything to do with a sluggish economy and a gang of tech companies exploiting a second market in goods people already have.

Sharing is caring but people doing their best to profit from a secondary market on shit they already own has fuck all to do with sharing. Sharing to me and anybody who isn’t retarded is someone being in possession of a good and because you’re not an asshole, you allow other human beings to use that good but this not what’s happening. What’s happening is people who have goods but can’t pay for them rent them to people who can’t own them.

 The sharing economy is the latest bullshit being hawked by tech companies with silly names that has nothing to do with people sharing what they have but people trying their best to make a return on it. In truth, what we’re really witnessing in the sharing economy is really a new subletting economy where almost anything can be rented for the right price. There’s really no problem with this on the face of it except that it has and will piss off primary market operators such as landlords, hoteliers and taxi cab drivers who are getting their lunch eaten under their nose.

People make the argument that companies like Airbnb and Uber offer a service to a generation that are more likely to rent a good than buy it outright but this argument reveals the pernicious nature of the so called sharing economy for what it really is as they won’t tell you why people can’t own these goods in the first place . The sharing economy exists not because there been a revolution in social relations between people but because a handful of companies have figured how to get rich off a generation that have become accustomed to renting goods because they can’t own them.

I’m not against sharing and I’m not even against subletting but what I am against is companies worth billions trying to tell me that exploiting a generation with shitty job prospects and lean banks accounts has anything to do with sharing. In truth, if they were in the business of increasing sharing among people they would be facilitating a barter economy rather than opening a new facet of the increasingly exploitative gig economy.

In sum, companies like Airbnb and Uber aren’t full of shit because they making money off a generation who can’t own but because they’re using one of the best elements of human nature, our tendency to share, as a tool to market a growing secondary market in goods people already own.

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