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The Sharing Economy

Renting out your power tools, your car, even rooms in your house.  We look at the new “peer-to-peer” sharing economy, from Airbnb to Uber.

In this Jan. 4, 2013 photo, Lyft passenger Christina Shatzen gets into a car driven by Nancy Tcheou in San Francisco. Fed up with traditional taxis, city dwellers are tapping their smartphones to hitch rides from strangers using mobile apps that allow riders and drivers to find each other. Internet-enabled ridesharing services such as Lyft, Uber and Sidecar are expanding rapidly in San Francisco, New York and other U.S. cities, billing themselves as a high-tech, low-cost alternative to cabs. (AP)

In this Jan. 4, 2013 photo, Lyft passenger Christina Shatzen gets into a car driven by Nancy Tcheou in San Francisco. Fed up with traditional taxis, city dwellers are tapping their smartphones to hitch rides from strangers using mobile apps that allow riders and drivers to find each other. Internet-enabled ridesharing services such as Lyft, Uber and Sidecar are expanding rapidly in San Francisco, New York and other U.S. cities, billing themselves as a high-tech, low-cost alternative to cabs. (AP)

Once upon a time, one fundamental of the economy was pretty simple.  If you wanted something, you bought and owned it, paid the fare, or maybe borrowed it from a neighbor.  Today, new deal.  The Internet has made it easy to buy or rent just a little bit of someone else’s stuff.

Need a room?  Never mind the hotel, rent a stranger’s room with Airbnb.  Need a car?  Rent mine for a couple hours with Relay Rides.  Need a power drill?  Click here, it’s yours for the day.

This hour, On Point:  the “sharing” or “collaborative” economy.  It’s taking off.  We’ll ask where it’s going.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Arun Sundararajan, professor of information, operations and management sciences at New York University’s Stern School of Business. (@digitalarun)

Lauren Anderson, community director at Collaborative Lab.

Rujul Zaparde, CEO of FlightCar, which allows you to drop off your car for free at the airport, and while you’re traveling, Flightcar will rent it out and make money for you. He is 18 years old. (@rujulz)

Micheline Maynard, contributing writer to Forbes covering transportation. Former longtime Detroit bureau chief for the New York Times. (@mickimaynard)

From Tom’s Reading List

Reuters: ‘Sharing Economy’ Companies Go Mainstream — “A few years ago, renting out a spare room via the lodging website Airbnb bordered on daring. Now, in thousands of cities around the world, it seems almost conventional. But as the founders of the emerging category of ‘sharing economy’companies are learning, going mainstream brings a whole new set of legal and regulatory challenges.”

Wired: New York Can Fight Airbnb and Uber, But the Share Economy is Here to Stay — “Freelance innkeepers across New York City shuddered this week as a judge found that a man renting out his East Village apartment on Airbnb was violating the state’s occupancy code. In his decision, Administrative Law Judge Clive Morrick found in effect that Nigel Warren was running an impromptu hotel by letting strangers pay to stay at his place for short periods of time.”

The Economist: The Rise of the Sharing Economy — “Just as peer-to-peer businesses like eBay allow anyone to become a retailer, sharing sites let individuals act as an ad hoc taxi service, car-hire firm or boutique hotel as and when it suits them. Just go online or download an app. The model works for items that are expensive to buy and are widely owned by people who do not make full use of them. Bedrooms and cars are the most obvious examples, but you can also rent camping spaces in Sweden, fields in Australia and washing machines in France.”

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  • http://www.facebook.com/melissa.snyder.1804 Melissa Johnston-Snyder

    Nannyshare USA is the 1st full-service nanny referral agency to step into the “share economy” by supporting local community, based nannyshares that let families share professional nanny services.  http://www.nannyshareusa.com

  • Shag_Wevera

    Renting out is not sharing.  Problem of meaning and definition.

    • Wahoo_wa

      I used to borrow my apartment.  For some reason my landlady never paid my monthly deposits back!  Can you believe it (shakes fist)???!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    i think this is because everyone is so broke. last time I had a rideshare the guy had been unemployed for months

  • Suzanne

    I hope you’ll discuss time banking (an hour of someone’s time is “banked” and she can spend it on anyone else’s offer). It’s somewhat like bartering, but the trade doesn’t have to take place between two specific people, and the model doesn’t assign a $$ amount on the service. The guy who cleans my gutters earns the same time as I do when I tutor another person’s kid.

    There are many exciting aspects of this model: community building, saving money, being able to “buy” something one can’t normally afford, etc. There are also some challenges: getting established businesses to join and dealing with administrative duties in a volunteer organization.

    I’d love to hear your guests discuss how to get to the next level of time banking after one is established. How do we get our time bank to the next level: thriving?

  • Rick Evans

    I agree with  Shag_Wevera that renting is not sharing. I don’t even consider co-ownership “sharing”.  More insidious is how “sharing” has become co-op’ed by corporate big brothers like the Zuck who profit from what you are gullible enough to “share” on his corporate network.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    This appears to be a sign of the structural problem we have with our wages in this new world economic order… I am glad to see people pulling together to one another’s benefit but is this another indicator that third world America is just over the horizon?

    • Coastghost

      That’s certainly the spin “On Point” producers are eager to give it.

      • Shag_Wevera

        Your spin is likely something about the wonderful free market or some utterance about an invisible hand…

  • Shag_Wevera

    Another sad sign of our decline.  My neighbor was doing yard work when his weed whacker bought the farm.  He asked if he could use mine.  It never occurred to me to try to profit from his misfortune.  Likewise, I want to start taking my kids canoeing but really can’t afford one.  My other neighbor has one that he seldom uses, and he told me we can use it anytime.  This is sharing, community, and good neighbors.  When a neighbor asks to borrow a cup of sugar, referencing the current cost of sugar per pound isn’t sharing.

    • Ray in VT

      That was basically how things went when I was growing up.  We let a neighbor borrow our hay wagon if he needed it, and he let us borrow something if we needed it, and no money ever exchanged hands.  That’s still the deal that my brother and his neighbor have, and it works as long as one isn’t trying to take advantage of the other.  I remember one time in grad school we had a big snow storm.  The guy in the neighboring apartment had his car get buried.  I saw him shoveling it out, and I just couldn’t sit there, so I went out to help him.  He tried to pay me after we were done, and I was a bit insulted, because that isn’t how it is supposed to work.  Upon his insistence, though, I did accept some cookies that his mom had made.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Tangent: If you think that’s sad, you’ll certainly not like this.

      • Rick Evans

         Rent-a-Roll is just the latest progression in affluenza trickling down to the middle crass.

        Renting tires by the financially pinched is a new thing for these businesses that have traditionally rented tires to luxury car drivers who want to pimp their ride. NPR did a story on this recently.

        Also, Hankook tires are expensive at $400 to $500 if the price includes valves, mounting, balancing, etc. The Rent-a-Roll situation reflects an unwillingness of people to save 20% of their income and squeeze their cost of living within what remains.

        tinyurl.com/lfulzsr

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          When I looked through the LATimes story for the underclass folk “too wasteful to save 20% of their income” I got:

          Unemployed job seeker
          Dodge minivan, c. 1998
          “We couldn’t risk losing the job over tires, no matter what the cost”

    • plr01

      A weed whacker is good example of something that could be shared by an entire neighborhood.  Why not have 1 — or perhaps better, 2 — weed whackers that are shared by 10 homes in a neighborhood.  No one house needs its own weed whacker.  It seems reasonable that the 10 sharing households would also share the purchase and maintenance costs.

  • jefe68

    Should it not be called the underground market, or low rent?

    Sharing, as I define it, means not being charged nor charging a fee.

  • Roni Coleman

    I can’t wait to hear this piece - Home Share Now http://www.homesharenow.org and Homeshare Vermont http://www.homesharevermont.org are great examples of how sharing is mutually beneficial.  We bring together people looking for affordable housing and people looking to barter services in exchange for the extra space they already have in their homes.  We help match them based on location, services, personality and lifestyle.  Background checks and references help us get to know each side well enough to recommend compatible matches. Agreement writing and follow-up support with a trained mediator helps participants avoid the conflict that can occur when people share a living space. Everyone wins and lifelong friendships are born!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joan-Marie-Davidson/1031260734 Joan Marie Davidson

      Yes, but isn’t this a long-term arrangem,ent, not 2-3 nights or a week?

      • Roni Coleman

        Hi Joan – Good question. Home Share Now facilitates long term arrangements that promotes people actually co-habitating.  This show is highlighting short term arrangements.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Those who care share, they don’t charge a fare.
    What the market will bare? That’s Capitalism.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Sweet!

  • Coastghost

    “On Point” diction alert: I don’t propose counting, but I anticipate liberal use of terms like “collaborative”, “cooperative”, “communal”, and likely a small host of other wholesome aggregate descriptors.
    There’s “sharing” again . . . oooh, there’s “collaborative” . . . that word “individual” is grating, though: how can “collaborative consumption” benefit an individual? Individuals no longer exist, and even if they did, they would hardly merit any benefits from any “collaborative consumption” scheme.

    • StilllHere

      “collective”

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Can’t you troll better?

      Your stuff sounds like a right-winger’s rejected pitch for a Fox-News rebuttal program to “Portlandia”.

      • jefe68

        Pathetic, is it not.
        Maybe he can be a rent-a-troll.

      • Coastghost

        Can’t you demean without lamely invoking Fox News? (which I remind this Forum I never watch, along with the rest of all that television has to offer)
        I don’t even know what “Portlandia” is, and frankly, I don’t much care, if it’s some gloppy TV show.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Why not mention Fox News?

          They’re the mainstream right’s talking points generator and / or gateway. You exude mainstream right talking points to a faretheewell.

          I submit that you’re like the fish who doesn’t know what water is because you’re swimming in it.

          And if you don’t remember the last time Fox News decided “hey, the right needs one of those satire programs”, that’s because “The Half Hour News Hour” has been disappeared from their memory.

          • pete18

            Coastghost, just remember, when a left-winger uses a talking point mouthed Pavlovically by every left-leaning media source in the country (msnbc, New York Times, Huffington Post, Daily Kos, etc.) like,”oh you’re just repeating Fox News talking points,” he isn’t indulging in agitprop or “swimming in” Democratic propaganda streams, he is giving us deep and original truths. 

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            New York Times?

            Yeah, Ross Douthat, Judith Miller and David Brooks would like you to keep thinking that.

            And I often say I’ve filched a thought from somewhere. The funny thing is, I lean towards ideas that are not something that all the talking heads nod solemnly in agreement on.

          • pete18

             That’s a riot, the Fox News meme is the most ubiquitous (and empty) talking head nod out there.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I go into media crit mode whenever I figure it’s needed.

            Around the righties here, it’s often needed.

          • pete18

            Yes, the pot thinking he’s got something to teach the kettle and completely clueless about the irony of it all.

          • StilllHere

            Exactly.  This poster is a one-trick pony, and not very good at that.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            From a mindless spewing machine such as you, that sounds like a compliment.

            I go into media crit mode whenever I figure it’s needed.

            Around the righties here, it’s often needed.

        • StilllHere

          That’s how he trolls.

    • ljanderson84

      Hi Coastghost I was on the show this morning, and am interested in your comment that collaborative consumption can’t benefit individuals? There are millions of individuals benefiting from these services all around the world in a way they never would if just using hotels, buying and maintaining privately owned cars, and doing without the things they can’t afford to own. The services facilitating these transactions take a small transaction fee, but the individuals get the rest. This is unprecedented in the business world for so much benefit to be distributed – and people are directly experiencing that.

      • Coastghost

        H’lo, lj: I’m sure I missed your call-in comment, sorry.

        The point I made facetiously was that, with all this attention to collective/communal/collaborative schemes, the individual does not count, and properly shouldn’t: benefits properly should accrue to the sponsoring collective or the enterprising commune.

        Frankly, I was amazed to hear the non-ironic reports of how much these services are assisting beleaguered foreign travelers: I would not have thought that foreign travelers would be accorded such sympathy by “On Point” producers, but then we can’t expect our elites to be content year-in year-out with only domestic vacations. Sounds as if Noirlens is afflicted mightily with unlicensed B&Bs, and I was amazed to hear disaffection expressed with these collectivist/collaborative cost-cutting schemes. (I would not have predicted progressivist concern with the success of the travel industry, at all.)

        • ljanderson84

          Hi there, just to clarify, I am Lauren Anderson and was a guest on this morning’s show talking about collaborative consumption.

          I think your point that the individual probably shouldn’t count as much as the ‘collective’ is an interesting one, and perhaps semantics are getting in the way because certainly it’s the power of the whole community that makes things like these services possible (though each of us is doing it for reasons of self-interest in some way, at least at first, as research shows).

          • Coastghost

            Pardon, I was listening with only one ear, if that carefully.

            I do not argue that the individual “should not count”: I am saying only that the individual “does not count”, or that I do not see how the individual counts, in such schemes. 

            As an automobile owner, whyever would I “share”? The car’s there for my use, when I want or need to use it. No user will pay me enough to compensate me for my maintenance and insurance costs, I am sure (my ins. co. would take a dim view of my participation, I anticipate). Knowing nothing of a user’s driving history, and regardless of his driving history, exposing my poor car to more driving yields more risk of accident. A guest driver might have a clean record but decides to celebrate his good fortune cheap-renting my car by texting a message or cell-phoning while he’s driving and WHAM! whoops, sorry, et cetera.

            And as so many noted rightly in the Forum, these collaborative consumption set-ups are the functional equivalents of internet firms that thrive on not paying state and local taxes on their sales: mutatis mutandis, an “unlicensed” B&B is not submitting to any kind of regulatory inspection or certification, doesn’t have to worry about meeting or failing to meet code requirements, need not invest in pest control, et cetera.

            Also, you might care to define “the whole community”: why,  according to my foregoing description, would a collaborative WANT to cut out market participation from insurance firms and transportation regulators and tax authorities? only to keep costs low for penny-pinching subscribers? what does “quality of service” come down to?

            By now, I’m not even sure that the collaborative consumption collectives count as much as any hapless individual, but then, I haven’t read my Kafka today.

  • StilllHere

    Please, even in the 60s there was a board at college for rides home with the understanding that gas costs would be “shared.”  Obviously this wording only bothers the freeriders in every sense who come here everyday defending handouts. 

    • jefe68

      Troll.

  • Asta

    I am excited to listen to this piece too! Maybe “sharing” isn’t quite the right term. I think of it more as “renting.” We are increasingly renting our music and books electronically in addition to cars, rooms, tools, etc. I love it! While traveling in Italy last fall I was able to stay in the center of Rome & Florence for a song. Hotels in the center of Rome & Florence were out of my price range but Airbnb had great rooms that included kitchens, coffee, and free wifi for significantly less than a hotel. I also use Zip car when I travel. Often times I don’t need a rental car for the whole trip and I don’t want to deal with the hassle of parking it overnight. Zip car allows me to have a car when I travel just when I really need it. So convenient! The way people consume products and services is definitely changing and for the better!

  • toc1234

    meanwhile the IRS is laughing at the prospect of the lil’ collaborative sharers trying to explain themselves come April….

  • Coastghost

    Wonder what WBUR underwriter Liberty Mutual Insurance makes of attempts to rent or lease policyholder automobiles: are they adjusting underwriting standards to meet this challenge? Raising policy rates? A pity no LMI representative could be found, a pity no insurance representatives at all appear as guests for this show.

    • Shag_Wevera

      We certainly can’t deny insurers their pound of flesh.

  • J__o__h__n

    What is the liability if you rent your power tools, lawn mower, car, house, etc? 

  • d clark

    Why should these people be able to rent this stuff out and avoid the taxes and licenses that all other businesses and individuals must pay.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      that’s a good reason to call it sharing

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    In order to participate in this “new” form of sharing/renting you must already have the money, live in the right place or own something that somebody else wants. It’s nothing more than good old fashioned capitalism all dressed up in neo-collectivist clothing. Those who need the most will still go without the basic tools of survival that intact, responsible communities provide. This is not progress.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

      And taxes will be avoided, further weakening the safety net for the have-nots.

  • Matt

    I agree with others that “rental economy” would be the better description.

    I don’t have any problem with the concept of these rental programs themselves, but if these startups don’t devise a way to collect tax on the transactions their sites and apps enable, they may well end up harming the communities they claim to be building.

  • MarkVII88

    If people are willing to pay to rent your items, why shouldn’t they pay?  This isn’t new.  Equipment rental businesses do this all the time with chainsaws, diggers, plows, power tools, and cars that the average person either can’t afford to buy on-the-fly or doesn’t need to buy if they need it once every couple years.  The value behind what you’re paying for depends on what, how long, and how badly you need to use an item that you just don’t have.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Because I don’t want everything in life broken down into a business transaction.  If I know a funny joke, should I charge my friends a small fee to tell it?  If they retell it, should they pay me a small fee for that?  What if I hold open the door of a business for a woman with a baby stroller on a rainy day?  That’s gotta be worth at least 25 cents, right? 

      • Bluejay2fly

        We have become so indoctrinated with the money culture that charging a profit on something that costs you nothing is entrepreneurial, not anti social. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        its people like you who put hard working doormen out of the job

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.arsenault.92 Matthew Arsenault

    I think your last caller needs to remember, unless you own the property, you really have no rights to complain about it.  we recently had a 1.5 acre lot next to our 10 acres get completed cleared and a huge (aka not modest house put up), but we have no control over this – we dont own it.
     

    • J__o__h__n

      Not true.  You can have the zoning changed or complain if they are operating illegally.  You can complain if it has an impact on your use of your property or is a hazard.  At least until a few more Roberts Court decisions. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

    I’m a New Orleanian, and I can back up what Lisa said. There are hundreds of illegal B and B’s here.

  • northeaster17

    Is this about regulation or taxation? The taxation problem can be solved. It’s the “regulation” part that is worrying. If people do not want to stay with professional hotels etc they should not be compelled to.

  • MarkVII88

    Oh boo friggin’ hoo to that person who called bemoaning her lack of neighbors because the house next door is being used by Air B&B for rental.  Why’s she so concerned with what other homeowners are doing?  She’s just being a loudmouth snitch because she can’t mind her own business.

    • joseph makela

      bro, where you do your time?

  • jefe68

    If you buy a property and rent it out there are laws in regards to how many people can live in it an so on. The comment about taxes was bogus. If you don’t pay property taxes the city or town will eventually put a lean on the property.

    Boston is full of rentals. All of them have to pay property taxes.
    In Boston if you own a single family there cannot be more than three unrelated people living in it. If you rent to more than three you can be fined.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

      Here in N.O. (and I think many places), there are accommodation taxes and sales taxes that are applied to legal hotel room rentals. These are the taxes that illegal B&B’s are avoiding.

      • jefe68

        I’m not sure how that works in Boston.
        There are short term rental apartments in the Back Bay area. They are legal as far as I know.
        Accommodation taxes also cover food, drink and service if I’m not mistaken.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

          There are plenty of licensed B&B’s and short-term rentals here. I have no objection to them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      and that’s why none of the college kids  live in illegal apartments

  • Roxanne Ferreira

    this whole idea reminds me of “the village bicycle.” Feels like another step backwards to me. 

    • northeaster17

      How is sharing a bike a step backwards?

      • Roxanne Ferreira

        The idea that there is an item that is too expensive for everyone to own, so a group gets together and buys it. everyone is a part owner. Sounds great, but it was one of the steps towards an ownership economy. the fact that we are bringing it back due to our current economic hardships seems regressive. the idea in and of itself is a great idea, however it was already in full swing about 100, 150 years ago. We stepped away from it when our personal wealth grew as our personal wealth decreases we go back to it. again just feels regressive. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      isn’t that the set up for a “yo momma” joke?

  • Emily4HL

    I’m an equestrian, and have noticed that both renting and bartering are huge parts of the system. The thing is, in VT barter is king. Now that I’m in MA, its all rental.

    • Coastghost

      In Westchester County equestrian enthusiasm is funded through sales of cannabis, we hear.

  • plr01

    For the person who complains that she has a stream of renters instead of the regular, permanent neighbors that she was craving, I would wonder …  what about when you buy a house and find out that you are stuck with permanent neighbors that you did not chose and with whom you may have nothing in common, or worse, who you actively dislike?  Wouldn’t it be preferable to have a steady, changing stream of interesting, and possibly even charming people?

    • mitsbom

      In defense of the caller from New Orleans:  You’d have to understand what a constant stream of tourists next door in New Orleans means.  Many many many people come here thinking it’s required behavior to be drunk and obnoxious 24 hours a day.  Now if you choose to live in the French Quarter, you expect drunken puking peeing in public tourists all day/night.  But if you live in a neighborhood that does not have a legal B&B, you are not prepared for it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        right but you may live next to one full time but if its a rental maybe some weeks it will be empty or rented by non obnoxious people

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joan-Marie-Davidson/1031260734 Joan Marie Davidson

    Regarding RENTING HOMES or ROOMS:Woman in New Orleans who objects to the hosue-next-door, rented out by someone who doesn’t live there, I have a friend in Spain who RENTS the apartment next to her place and then rents it out on AIRBNB. I
    see it as a service that is making her a little (very little) money in hard times.If I stilkl lived in Brookyn . rest assured that I’d do something similar. (Not many people want to rent a room in central Vermont.)
    WE rented a 5 floor walk-up 3 BR apt, in Lisbon December 2012 and it was wonderful, the home, the location, all of it including the hosts (who usually live there).
     

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

      This is a real problem in some neighborhoods in New Orleans. In the French Quarter, for instance, the illegal B&B’s have pushed out actual residents and destroyed neighborhoods. In addition, they bypass the city and state accommodation taxes and take profits away from hotels that play by the rules.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        its a tourist area that is going to happen

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

    http://nymag.com/guides/everything/collectivism/   An article from 2010 on this subject. The “haves” get more stuff out of it and the “have nots” pay more $ for the stuff they need to borrow now and then.  

  • mitsbom

    To confirm what Lisa from New Orleans said, there are many such illegal B&Bs throughout the city.  They’re essentially stealing business from authentic B&Bs, vacation rentals and hotels who jumped through hoops and paid big money to operate legally.   Everyone can applaud entrepreneurship, and wish luck to those who rent out their own living space to air b&b. But there will always be those people who take things too far – as Lisa pointed out – people who buy property for the sole use of operating a B&B without a license.  Two such places are within a block of my house. 

    • jefe68

      If you object I’m sure the city would love to know.

    • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

      If they’re able to successfully operate a B&B without a piece of paper from the government, perhaps the problem is with the licensure itself, not with the concept of AirBNB.

      What intrinsic benefit comes with a B&B license?

  • Yar

    Who pays the red light camera ticket?

  • ianway

    This seems to me a very old-fashioned, Yankee-frugal, communitarian idea, only newly replaced by a kind of corporate propaganda that identifies American individualism with mindless consumption and privatization.

  • Coastghost

    Have heard no word yet (only forty minutes in) about health regulations. They SAY the sheets have been changed, but how do I know? Was this shower stall bleached after the tubercular visitor came through? Do I HAVE to use the toothbrush that the HCV+ visitor used? Whose blood is this on this used razor?

    • mitsbom

       Is this a joke?   You’d use someone else’s toothbrush or razor?     And as to sheets being changed, you have the same assurances as a hotel or traditional B&B would give.

      • Coastghost

        Not exactly: hotels and trad. B&Bs have to pass health inspections routinely. Which have to be paid for somehow. And should they fail a health inspection, their establishments can be fined or closed. This can be bad for business. (Of course, none of us can legislate bedbugs out of NYC.)

        Yes, I was joking and no, I would never use someone else’s toothbrush, dental floss, toothpick, razor, deodorant, toilet paper, towel, facecloth, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. 

        • nj_v2

          You bring your own toilet paper when you visit other people?

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          I wish they would ban pubes

  • northeaster17

    This has alot to do with how we are controlled and cost exploited by major corporations. Sharing represents death by a thousand cuts. Our Government can be expected to act to the benifit of their corporate masters. I say full speed a head.

  • Thought_Id_Share

    I don’t have central air and am learning how to brew beer. I’d love to barter or rent a controlled temperature space to have my beer ferment. Odd, but this is what I need.

    • StilllHere

      I’d allocate a portion of my basement for a case of any pale ale/stout production.

  • Krissy

    I think this is great. Places like Air BNB can give you the opporunity to try out different places to live. I did AirBNB in Burlington, VT and it was great. I want to move there someday and I got to be right in town for not an expensive price and act as though it was my apartment.

  • creaker

    capitalism – user to user – instead of sent down through some demigod multinational corporation. Of course it will have its own set of problems, but it’s nice to have these expanding options there.

  • PYMphoto

    AirBnB works great now, but will it last? We’ve been doing AirBnB since last July and have a wonderful experience with people from Italy, France, Canada, and all across the US. The concept of using the internet to share might find its roots in the stock image industry where photographers used to be able to earn from $40 to $400 per “download” by “renting” images to various companies. That was a wonderful industry until Getty bought up all the little stock image sites and cranked up their percentage to the point where photographers are now earning 40¢ to $4.00 per download. Our success with AirBnB is based upon the fact they currently charge very little per transaction. Will that last? Not very likely after they get bought up by some big corporation who will then squeeze every penny they can out of us.  That’s the major risk I see.

  • Rick Evans

     Autozone and Advance Auto lend tools to encourage DIYers to buy auto parts.

    • StilllHere

      Like what?

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        what do you need? they have lots of odd things like gear pullers and such

        • StilllHere

          I have no idea, but I’m always willing to try a new DIY project.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            well then get into the Zone

      • Rick Evans

         Serpentine belt de-tensioner wrench. Turns a $150 job into a $25 cost of belt job.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      I’ve thought about their loaning service. Then wondered if I’d just be making more business for my mechanic after I take something apart I can’t put back together.

      But other folks, more greasemonkey-enabled than I, are getting the benefit from this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/peter.newton.3956 Peter Newton

    It is coming to Phoenix soon as well, but we have A LOT of work to fix the streets for use. Cars are demons here. Chattanooga? s that just to cross the Walnut Street Bridge or ride up the Riverwalk to the Hunter? If they left housing on Cameron Hill… Maybe they’ll tour the battles for the 150th later this year. Hope to get back.

  • Wahoo_wa

    The problem with bike sharing is the loss of parking.  I think they would be better received if the stands were located in better places and out of parking spaces.

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/BBdjWN9ikvwji2ES_hh8RBJ7ncF6uIh_#57040 fed up

    It would be great if New York hadn’t chosen the CRIMINAL CITI BANK for it’s bike share.

    A bank that cost this country hundreds of billions of dollars should have been killed off.

    Now New Yorkers are paying the criminal bank Citi to advertise for them.

    Pay to advertise that what an idiot you are as the biggest shareholder of Citi is an Arab prince who has said that American must cut Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid.

    Of course, that’s after the American taxpayer bailed out Citi and saved his fortune of 15 billion he has invested in Citi.

    http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mmk45iflh/inside-prince-alwaleed-bin-talals-private-plane-4/

  • joseph makela

    i am a responsible biker, i LOVE to bike but community biking is the bane of city transport! here in Montreal “patient x” for bike sharing. We have enough abandoned bikes for all but no government sees potential $ and cronyism. began in the red, so lets raise the rates! 
    folks are rolling on sidewalks, burning stops and reds, etc. bad etiquette and general ignorance. never mind the electric bikes, scooters and unicycles clogging up our bike paths!
    and who bankrolls this and is main sponsor? Rio Tinto Alcan, check them out…

    • https://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

      In the medium-term I suspect it will be better for you because it will increase the number of bikes on the road and make drivers more aware of and used to cyclists.

  • HonestDebate1

    I always comply anytime a neighbor needs something, it usually involves my tractor. Speaking of which, 2 weeks ago I broke a spindle while bush hogging. That spells doom, we depend on the tractor everyday. Fortunately we are putting up hay and our hay guy has his tractor at our place to stack it in the barn. His machine is more suited to stacking the round bales than mine. I broke down on a friday evening and could order the part until the following Monday, then the wrong part was shipped… twice. If I hadn’t been able to borrow a tractor we would have had to rent one or buy one. My hay guy (Daniel) has 3 tractors and we are working out a deal where we pay him a yearly fee to keep one of them here, just in case. It’s a win win.

    Also bartering is a big part of our operation. Our bookkeeper boards a horse here and we trade out. People feed horses to work off board or riding lessons. Kids pick the stalls to help defer board or lessons. It seems the most dependable ones are those whose parents can easily afford their bills but want their kids to have skin in the game. 

    • jefe68

      Sounds like a cooperative to me.

      • HonestDebate1

        You say cooperative like it’s a bad thing.

  • jbowhan

    How about shared learning?  The ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value uses a peer-to-peer shared learning model to help healthcare organizations implement the Toyota Production System (Lean) in healthcare. White paper on the topic at http://www.createvalue.org/resources/white-papers-templates/

    • Coastghost

      What a concept! Let’s extend it to the notion of “collaborative doctorates”: four people, e.g., combine resources and talents to obtain one professional degree that yields a modest six-figure income and more modest five-figure incomes for the four collaborators. Education costs are shared, class requirements are shared: one researches, one writes, one deals with school administrators, one takes professional licensing exams. Then the four can take turns dispensing whatever professional service they’ve attained to. Sounds like a realistic plan, hunh?

      • jbowhan

        Not talking about degrees here.  This is post education, real-world, in the work place learning by sharing knowledge and experience across organizations in North America.  

  • marty_megan

    We live in Santa Barbara California and rent our home out through airbnb for about 14 nights a year. Our experience has been great. Our best guests have been European tourists; they have been incredibly appreciative of being able to share in a bit of our life. Multiple benefits for us: we get to make new friends from all over the world, we make enough money to fund our vacations, the upgrades to our home to make it comfortable for guests, and it forces us to take care of deferred maintenance issues around the house that would have lingered around much longer.

  • dilb

    The new innovative business models created using internet as the core tool – should it be airbnb, flightshare, relayrides, hubway, enforce the notions that 
    - government needs to be on its toes especially around internet technologies if they want to protect their revenue. What’s wrong with putting government to work ? 
    - market competitiveness
    Consumers also benefit from competitions among these new comers. There is nothing to prevent Herze from providing the same services that Mr. Zaparde (flightsahre) is providing. 
    - social justice (indirectly) 
    One could think of these new breed of companies that are popping up as distributing the wealth :) Instead of having a handful of C*O of big corporations making 400+ times the salary of the average worker (Hertz, Hilton, etc.), the founders of these companies are willing to take a much smaller cuts – at least for starter. Then providing great services to their customers to stay competitive. For the longest time, consumers have to accept the kind of services big corporations provide as they are the only game in town. No more. 
    - gaps between the “haves” and “haves not”… not of money but of technology skills. 
    Internet technology explosion; Apps (software), Square, PayPal,  Cloud, Big Data, Data mining and the like make new breed of business models possible. Corporations with out-dated business models are being left behind and eventually will die away I suspect … R&D is a must. By the time you (as corporation) purchases the next proven big thing from innovator, you will be 3 steps behind corporations that value organic/in-house innovation. Google is a good example of corporations that understand and nurture innovations and creativities. 
    - education, education, education (?)
    One notable difference between Ms. Alison Cohen (MIT graduate), founder of the successful Alta Bike share and Mr. Rajul Zaparde (18 years old), founder of flightshare is, perhaps, education. Judging from the age of Mr. Zaparde, one would assume that he had not gone through the educational system that could had making him having second thought and, perhaps, preventing him from betting on the shady area of the laws. 

    Nothing is free… 
    “sharing” is not new – think “free” services provided by craigslist, neighborgoods.net etc.. What these new businesses are doing is to put $$ in front of each service that users of craigslist have to do themselves by providing tool to make it simpler and faster.  And don’t forget, the basic requirement for these businesses is internet capable device… 

  • Mieko A Ozeki

    Another book worth checking out: 
    What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption by Rachel Botsman & Roo Rogers

    As a former ZipCar driver, I am fascinated by collaborative consumption. The idea behind bike share programs in North America took off on Montreal with Bixi, when the mayor supported the effort for a system to be created. The bikes are unique construction and minimizes thefts and their hubs are great. In a big city, rebalancing the parked bikes to different hubs and building bike maintenance shops is a good job creator.  Bike share requires a city to think about its master plan, taking into consideration cars, public transit, bikes, and pedestrians. So many interesting possibilities for traveling within a city.

  • tbphkm33

    This topic is related to skill sharing – I end up doing that for a lot of friends and coworkers.  I have fixed everything from dishwashers to computers.  Helped install wood flooring and fencing.  If you ask me, there should be more of such cooperation.  I diagnosed my neighbors two year old $4,000 stove as having a faulty main board, we ordered a new one for $170 and installed it.  Works perfect.  A repair man would easily have charged $500 to $800 for the same repair.  People underestimate how easy it is to fix things, especially with the internet.  Who knew that many central AC problems comes down to a .40 cent 3amp fuse hidden amongst the wires on the main circuit board.  

    Sharing, bartering and helping each other is great, we need more of it.  Teaches people how to be self sufficient.  Strengthens relationships.  Most important, it better utilizes equipment.  

    Sure these activities can have a negative impact on “legitimate” businesses and government tax receipts, but lets be honest, so many “legitimate” businesses overcharge, cut corners and provide inferior service.  No, a lot of times, it is a question of if you want it done right, do it yourself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      yup some repairs can be simple and there is always the internet which can make anyone an expert. I saved around $600 changing a fan in my car myself recently

  • laughtiger

    Many of these are not really sharing economy  — just sharewashing. And greenwashing too, for that matter.

  • CantTakeItWithYou

    Miami Beach had bike share last year, a whole year before NY.  Just saying.

  • http://synapse9.com/signals Jessie Henshaw

    The scientist in me (who actually understands how this affects us globally) says I should shut up and leave well enough alone, but maybe there’s someone else here who sees the fly in the ointment too, and needs support.  

    Sharing is nice, it makes resources stretch and brings people together… so long as you don’t push it further and further by demanding more and more from it… as we have to.  When demanding more and more from it, as needed in an economy designed to get ever more out of everything…, us, the earth, everything, “sharing” turns into a lot more like “making bricks without straw”, trusting one stop gap measure too many.

    It’s just the financial world that can’t remain “stable” without growth.  Everything else thrives on maintaining a sustainable scale of development, that can be enjoyed in reliable comfort.

    I have all sorts of stuff on my blog.  http://synapse9.com/signals

  • sr77

    “Sharing” economy?  Sorry I don’t get it.  $250 a night may beat hotel rates but this is just peer-to-peer capitalism.

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    100% this is a sign of dwindling resources allocated to the masses

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510268537 Justin Keaney

    The new streaming interface removed the option to download old shows to listen to in my car or at the gym!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    that’s a much more accurate description

  • Teresa

    I just tuned in a few minutes ago… not sure if there have been any callers from NYC, but the reason that NYS passed a law prohibiting renting out one’s home for fewer than 30 days (when the owner is NOT also living in the apt) is because many folks started to use their apts as hotel rooms.  This practice undermines residential living and was not the intended use of Class A dwellings (which are not hotels or hostels).  And, it’s just as detrimental to the quality of living for people living in a residential building/neighborhood in big NYC as it would be in, for example, New Orleans.  RESIDENTIAL buildings are just that- to be used for residential, and not commercial purposes. Unfortunately, one of the female guests on this show seems to not understand that point.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1156802624 Trina Chu

    I rent out my vacation home.  Airbnb is a great way to help us pay for expenses associated with the house when we are not there (electricity bills, water, heat, etc…).  we are there twice a year and we get about about three bookings a year.  Nothing like the New Orleans woman said.  Mind you, I pay tax on the money made.  Although I was in Paris, and the owner of the place was probably renting the houses specifically for business and not so much for pleasures and on the side income like most airbnb renters.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1260546659 Adrienne Brown

    Hi Tom,

    It’s not just sharing we do, but also exchanging. Last two years I was able to stay in London for several weeks by exchanging my home with another family in London. This was done through a website called: Green Theme International. It was a wonderful experience, and I highly recommend it. We exchanged our homes and cars and made new friends!

  • Tyranipocrit

    most people dont know their neighbors.  most people are strangers walking in and out of their building–or have artificial superficial relationships.  So while I understand the complaint, it really is just complaining.  The point is valid but the argument is not.

  • Tyranipocrit

     how do you know the neighbor you say hi to everyday isn’t a serial killer?  Perhaps that renter will save your life one day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mick.robilotto Mick Robilotto

    Why would you pay 75-100 dollars a year to share a bike when you can go on Craig’s list and buy a very good bike for that price or less I have bought several very nice bikes for 50 dollars on Craig’s list

  • http://www.facebook.com/mick.robilotto Mick Robilotto

    Why would you pay 75-100 dollars a year to share a bike when you can go on Craig’s list and buy a very good bike for that price or less I have bought several very nice bikes for 50 dollars on Craig’s list

    • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.weber.tgd Timothy Weber

      cause in new york once someone steals it you have to buy another one

  • ExcellentNews

    I think the SHARE movement is another enemy the GOP needs to focus on (after winning the war on terrorists, immigrants, and women of course).

    Why? Because the share economy benefits only the little people. No billionaires, crony bankers, or megalomaniac CEOs can be made this way.

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