Is the Sharing Economy Succeeding Because the Real Economy is Struggling?
Kevin Roose has penned a response to an earlier article by Jason Tanz in Wired about how the sharing economy encourages trust between strangers. "Tanz's thesis isn't wrong — these innovations have certainly made a difference. But it leaves out an important part of the story. Namely, the sharing economy has succeeded in large part because the real economy has been struggling," writes Roose.
"A huge precondition for the sharing economy has been a depressed labor market, in which lots of people are trying to fill holes in their income by monetizing their stuff and their labor in creative ways. In many cases, people join the sharing economy because they've recently lost a full-time job and are piecing together income from several part-time gigs to replace it."
Roose includes a number of charts documenting the depressed state of the job market, as well as some links to other writers' thoughts on the benefits of the shared economy to its users (on either side of the exchanges facilitated by the software of companies like Uber and Airbnb).