Monday, December 30, 2013

The sharing economy, i.e., the collapse of the American dream

At this link. Especially in light of new orgs like Peers. A few excerpts:

"Thomas Friedman, and others, have recently extolled the virtues of the sharing economy. [...]  Mr. Friedman writes enthusiastically about a future where we will typically: rent out our power tools, give each other rides, and provide cleaning services -- all via Internet-based platforms such as Airbnb. We'll achieve a brave new world where each of us will be (in Mr. Friedman's words) a 'micro-entrepreneur.' That's kind of like being a real entrepreneur, except you won't have: a regular salary, paid vacations, employer-provided health insurance, or a chance of getting rich from an IPO. Being a 'micro-entrepreneur' in this brave new world seems instead just a euphemism for being an employee, except with reduced compensation, job security, benefits and protections.

"I suspect Mr. Friedman, who makes $40,000/speech, isn't an active and regular user of Airbnb. He's not likely to want to stay with random strangers when he travels, nor have random strangers stay at his home. Similarly, I doubt any of his family members would welcome the opportunity to become 'micro-entrepreneurs' by cleaning other people's homes.

"So welcome' to the sharing economy -- also known as the collapse of the American Dream."

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