Blog 5

How much is too much sharing?

While listening to “The Rise of the Sharing Economy” I found myself listening more and more to Milo Yiannopoulos.  While this sharing economy seems to be a great idea, I can’t help but think that there are too many problems that are going to follow.  One of the problems I see is that people will be rented out their houses or apartments to others that they have never met before.  This is a giant leap of faith or at least would be for me.  Personally I don’t think I would feel comfortable allowing someone who I do not know stay in my residence where I have all my belongings.  One cannot really know what they are like or what they might do while there.  I just think this will eventually lead to more problems then it will solve.

This leads me into my next big issue with the sharing economy which is the idea of blind trust.  This sharing economy involves a tremendous amount of trust in order to function properly.  I personally would not be able to do it especially in regards to letting people stay in my house or drive my car.  Whether or not something happens I am still liable.  And although there may be insurance provided, if something were to happen then it still takes up my time resolving the issue that could have been avoided in the first place.  Now, some argued that this trust is what our economy is based on today, such as trusting that the milk you buy will not be spoiled.  However, this is not true at all.  It is not trust that makes sure the milk you buy isn’t spoiled, it is the regulations given to these companies through the laws we have created.  Who would want to go to the store and simply trust that the milk they buy is not going to be spoiled?  No, when you go to the store you know the milk you buy will be fresh because the regulations in place requires it to be so.

As I listened to the podcast, I had one question continually running through my mind; Is this really a sharing economy?  From everything I heard it seemed as though it was a big business getting most of the profits and others finding cheaper alternatives to renting a room from a hotel or renting a car from an agency.  I feel as though this is not really a sharing economy.  What happens when you rent a car?  You pay money for however long you want to use it, use it, then return it.  What is happening in this shared economy?  The same thing.  Therefore, I have trouble actually considering this a sharing economy.  I feel as though all this is really doing is just removing the regulations that you have to go through with agencies or hotels.  And again, much of the profits are going to the business which initially sets up the transaction.  Therefore I don’t so much consider this a sharing economy but rather a genius business idea which people are starting to take advantage of.

I further researched Milo and his ideas on this sharing economy and found this article which I thought was very intriguing.

5 thoughts on “How much is too much sharing?

  1. Garrett, I really like the point you bring up about this not being a Sharing Economy, but just a consumer economy without regulations. I had not thought of that while listening to the podcast, but I agree. I also agree that I do not think I would have the ability to trust people to live in my home or drive my car. I think that most people would be perfectly fine, but that small percentage that would take advantage of the situation ruin it for everyone.

    • That is the issue I see. I too think the majority will be alright. However, I still worry about the small percentage that could ruin it for everyone. I would also like to know whether these companies would be willing to share the information regarding the small percentage or just hide it away and cover it up. If this small percentage grows that could pose serious issues for these sharing economy companies.

  2. I love the idea of too much sharing. Personally I am a supporter of the idea that hard work can allow people to reach their goals and be successful. I think that too much sharing is similar to saying, “hey you can’t afford a meal, or a hotel” so what will do is create this hippie movement that we can just share and everyone wins. I obviously see the other side of reducing waste and the benefits to the idea. But at some point I would argue that there is some level of sharing that is too much. The community garden idea and ZipCar are great ideas that help foster saving but don’t cross any lines in my opinion. But having people rent out their homes to strangers because people want to “couch surf” rather than get a hotel seems too have gone too far in my opinion. We are opening ourselves up to more problems than we are bargaining for. But who is to say how much sharing is too much and where to draw the lines? Like I said in my post, I think this needs to be a larger movement and planned out with ramifications in mind.

  3. You make some great points here, Garrett! I particularly agree with your ideas about the title of this new movement, the “sharing” economy because it is true that it doesn’t seem like sharing if we are still paying for our goods and services. If it were really sharing, it wouldn’t be a business because sharing implies that a person is doing it out of the good of their heart or because they think they will benefit from this sharing later, but not necessarily through a monetary payment. In addition, I agree that people may be jumping on the movement simply because it is a movement and not because they really believe in the ideas.

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