Over at The Nib, Susie Cagle put together a great comic laying out the problems with the “Sharing Economy,” but she’s too kind and even in her tone for some of us. “Sharing Economy” is basically a polite term for “Black Market,” the environment in which people living in poverty are so desperate for money that anything of value becomes a commodity.
As Cagle rightly establishes up front, this new economy isn’t really about “sharing” at all, it’s about selling, treating human beings as products and a base of users as inventory. Users often fail to notice that the kinds of things they’re doing, like getting in the car with an unlicensed, uninsured taxi driver or letting a complete stranger sleep in their house, would seem both crazy and illegal if it weren’t through an app.
So I got thinking about some approaches to the Sharing Economy that I haven’t seen yet, and came up with three that seem particularly ripe.
Incidentally, I love the idea that when you sell an organ through Carvr, they send an unlicensed, uninsured surgeon to perform the transplant. It’s okay though, because you get to post your review afterward.