[ PFIR ] The "Sharing Economy" Is the Problem

juan juan.g71 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 9 16:05:11 PST 2015

On Wed, 9 Dec 2015 20:54:10 +0000
Zenaan Harkness <zen at freedbms.net> wrote:

> Perhaps this is worth discussion.
> Are AirBnB, Uber and Homejoy examples of political anarchism
> (degenerate or otherwise)?

	AiBnB and Uber are centralized middlemen - though the fact that
	uber goes against the privileges of the taxi mafia is an
	example of a freer market at work - at least in some limited
	On the other hand the 'market' is wholly owned by the middleman
	and the potential for abuse (assuming airbnb is not already the
	NSA) is...big. 

	I suppose the anarchist version would exist as a p2p network,
	for starters. Haven't the cypherpunks already coded a bunch of
	those decentralized, censorship resistant, anonymous, bla bla
	bla systems? 

	Anyway, I think couchsurfing is closer to anarchism than uber
	or airbnb (though the platform is just as centralized). 

> Are we seeing the ultimate in self responsibility (I would say self
> responsibility is a good thing)?
> How might we embrace such self responsibility, whilst also manifesting
> collective empathy/ shared 'responsibility' (perhaps there's a better
> term here)?
> Is Lauren Weinstein with his indenting style actually Juan in
> disguise? 

	Well...this is something I wouldn't  say : 

	" companies are stripping away worker protections, pushing down
	wages, and flouting government regulations" 

	While I do think that airbnb and the like are more
	sophisticated forms of corporatism (not a free market), I
	wouldn't suggest that they are the only bad guys in town and
	that 'progressive' statists are the good guys who protect
	'workers' with 'regulations'. 

> Or is it in actual fact the other way around?
> Z
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: "PFIR (People For Internet Responsibility) Announcement List"
> <pfir at pfir.org>
> Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2015 09:48:40 -0800
> Subject: [ PFIR ]  The "Sharing Economy" Is the Problem
> To: pfir-list at pfir.org
> The "Sharing Economy" Is the Problem
> http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/33720-the-sharing-economy-is-the-problem
>   	It's unfortunate then that these companies and the
> 	misnamed "sharing economy" are really just fronts for
> 	millionaires and billionaires to opportunistically ride off
> the backs of everyday people, while also exacerbating many economic
> 	inequalities. Avi Asher-Schapiro explains the truth in
> Jacobin: The premise is seductive in its simplicity: people have
> skills, and customers want services. Silicon Valley plays matchmaker,
> 	churning out apps that pair workers with work. Now, anyone can
> 	rent out an apartment with AirBnB, become a cabbie through
> Uber, or clean houses using Homejoy.  But under the guise of
> 	innovation and progress, companies are stripping away worker
> 	protections, pushing down wages, and flouting government
> 	regulations. At its core, the sharing economy is a scheme to
> 	shift risk from companies to workers, discourage labor
> 	organizing, and ensure that capitalists can reap huge profits
> 	with low fixed costs.

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