Much of the emphasis we have given on Two Cents shared articles with regards to the Sharing Economy is towards its appeal and benefits, but there are also a growing number of voices [and not just those who look to lose from the growth of it] who are beginning to voice their concerns and cautions at a considerably increasing volume.
Two articles in particular stand out for me in this:
The first, by Anya Kamenetz, titled, ‘Does the Sharing economy have a shadow side?’ attempts to alert us to the fact that “sharing isn’t always rainbows and bunnies.” Fortunately the heart of her post was a lot stronger than that metaphor and begins to pose some questions regarding ‘The informal, good-vibes nature of the participatory economy’ which ‘can run afoul of regulations designed to ensure safety and fairness, both for those who provide goods and services and those who use them.’
Neal Gorenflo, in his article titled, The Dark Side of the Sharing Economy: Could Airbnb Accelerate Gentrification? shares some questions that begin to look at some of the possible down sides to the sharing economy, referencing Anya Kamenetz and others as he also poses a question or two relating to the Sharing Economy. What is interesting with Neal though is how he has framed his questions as a sense of value gained or lost, suggesting that whatever decisions are made going forwards, there will be tradeoffs attached and it is up to each of us to decide what we are willing to hold on to and let go of as this new form of doing economy is embraced or shunned.
These are not lengthy articles and I encourage you to read them both. It is crucial that we do not get so mesmerised by the exciting potential of the Sharing Economy that we miss some of the potential pittfalls that it will bring with it. In light of Gorenflo’s article, what would you say are some of the tradeoffs that come to mind when considering moving towards a general economy that focuses a lot more on the sharing of resources aspects we have been looking at?
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