By Teka Lark
I don’t like misnomers. Sharing economy, free and independent are all terms that have been perverted.
The sharing economy as labeled by Fortune magazine is not sharing.
Uber, AirBNB is not about sharing. It is not about cooperation. Until shelter and food can be gotten in exchange for services and that option is open to all people of all classes and races, then it is not about sharing. It’s about exclusion.
The sharing economy where only the privileged who own property, a car and can live on trust funds or the resources of historical wealth and education that was only granted to people of certain classes and races– is not real sharing and it’s not fair.
If you don’t have anything to share, then you don’t get to fairly participate. If you are hungry right now you don’t get to negotiate. Only those with money, access and time get to negotiate to pay the lowest price that won’t let you die.
There is nothing liberating or free about people with money sharing with other people who have money. That isn’t groundbreaking. That is how racism and classism is done politely.
It is not freedom. It is not cooperation. It’s micro free market capitalism with an urban outfitters purchased indy band t-shirt and an organic coffee.
There is no freedom when the entire labor system has been destroyed. There is no freedom when even progressive people will support paying people unfair wages if it’s through a convenient app. There is no freedom when you have to earn $68,000 a year to afford an average apartment in Los Angeles. There is no freedom when we’re fighting not for $33.00 an hour, but $15.00 an hour –in 2019. There is no freedom when 20% of Los Angeles is in poverty.
A real sharing economy would work on things like public housing for all, single payer universal health care for all, universal child care for all and allowance for everyone, end to the very low capital gains taxes, end to corporations as people and to stop the spread of brutal capitalism across the globe by speaking out against not only the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in North America and Asia, but also the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in Europe, so people can do more than go to work and die.
That is what a true sharing movement would look like.