The Sharing Economy

Buzz: “The Sharing Economy”

On of the buzz-words going around these days is the “sharing economy.” And on the surface, it sounds like a nice, sustainable way for society to live. Neighbors helping out, people bartering services, and even “free trade.”

But I think there is more to this – and things people are not seeing.

The Sharing Economy trend

Social media and apps create feel good “sharing” mentality

99% of this new “sharing” is happened solely via technology, and someone is profiting from your good will.

There are apps like Neighborgoods which allows people (via the app) to find and share things with others. Sounds good, but they “lock” functionality until you pay $10.

Then there is the new “Feastly” app, which allows people to “sell” dinner at someone’s house. Often time budding chefs, etc. (isn’t that like buying friends?) They (the app developer) get a cut of the profits.

I bring those two up, because some blogger Maria Paula Oliveira (tried to) engage in what she dubbed the “share experiment,” and that she’d spend 75 days sharing using apps like Airbnb and others.

But what happened was she fizzled out. She couldn’t do it. Her bubble was popped. She was sold an unsustainable concept (partially because most of the apps do not have enough saturation to be deemed reliable.)

They’re just neat ideas that never fully come to (effective) fruition – with the exception of just a few standouts.

I guess these people think it’s “cool” to meet others – but why can’t they do it without technology? Why do they need that app to come up with something fun to do? Why are they relying on someone else’s idea and going along with it blindly? Don’t they see that money is being sucked out of the economy, regardless of how sweet and tender it appears on the surface?

And most importantly – even if it’s a super-great idea – why can’t you just get inspired by the great ideas – and make them happen without the technology? Do it “organically.” Is it too difficult? Require too much effort? Hurts your brain, and you’d rather a robot handle all the details?

That is precisely the problem that is only getting worse by the day: Lack of completely self-sufficient people.

evolution of the sharing economy

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A great deal of this “sharing” economy is about avoiding government regulation, whether the TLC (UBER) or hotel taxes or rental prohibitions or real estate commissions granted to MLS monopolies (Air BNB) or taxes/employment taxes and regulations (all of the above plus more). Seems like the millennials are besting the Boomers by end running all their stupid “there ought to be a law” bleatings. Craigslist is the only “app” worth a damn because it allows you to avoid paying a “newspaper” (remember them?) for 2 lines of description in an endless swamp of classifieds.