Sunday, September 1, 2013

share economy - ness

Chris Finlay (@chrisfinlay)
9/1/13 7:15 AM
Why The Sharing Economy In't “They don’t want us unionizing”… via@leashless

In fact I’d like to talk about a movement for the sharing economy. By “a movement” I mean exactly that. I mean huge numbers of people, with a shared identity, mobilized to take action to do two things: to grow the peer sharing economy, and to fight for their collective interests against unfair and unreasonable obstacles.

there is one thing that makes me angry, it is people appropriating the language of collective and progressive politics for financial gain. And that’s one thread of what’s going on here. As we shall see. It does seem that Executive Director Natalie Foster’s heart is in the right place, but that’s one of the tragedies of the sharing economy: well-intentioned people end up contributing to immiseration and injustice when they think they are doing the opposite

Venture Capital funds are not interested in people power, they are interested in an investment with a good return. The fact that Douglas Atkin doesn’t once mention the financial motivations of the forces behind the sharing economy is either dishonest or unbelievably self-deceiving.

The laws that he is talking about are licensing laws and other laws put in place to protect employees, customers, and neighbourhoods. These laws are not all perfect. But the sharing economy has nothing to replace them beyond magical thinking about “trust” (with little accountability

perhaps we experiment with one... crafted by many voices/sous

Fred Mazella was a genius when he named blablacar blablacar, because he’s actually naming what happens in the car. He named his organization not after the transaction, which is ridesharing, but because people communicate and go “bla bla bla” to each other in the car. He correctly identified what the real benefit of the sharing economy is, which is these other social and economic rewards.

The sharing economy is not an alternative to capitalism, it’s the ultimate end point of capitalism in which we are all reduced to temporary labourers and expected to smile about it because we are interested in the experience not the money. Jobs become “extra money” just like women’s jobs used to be “extra money”, and like those jobs they don’t come with things like insurance protection, job security, benefits – none of that old economy stuff. But hey, you’re not an employee, you’re a micro-entrepreneur. And you’re not doing it for the money, you’re doing it for the experience. We just assume you’re making a living some other way.
The old economy has largely failed us. Most people are not experiencing the economic independence and the happiness that mass production and consumerism promised. Partly, in a way, because the old system centralizes production, wealth and control. That’s just the way it works. And in a sense, that’s largely to blame. The peer sharing economy is a new model, which distributes power, wealth, and control to everyone else. Best of all, the very things that have become the casualties of the old economy — things like economic independence, entrepreneurialism, community, individuality, happiness — are actually built in to the very structure of this new economy. You can’t do sharing without building community, without creating individualized experiences.