Author(s): Tom Slee
A razor-sharp examination of the 'sharing economy'.Uber. Airbnb. Taskrabbit. Lyft. In recent years, companies like these have flooded the global market, supposedly the vanguard of a rethinking of capitalism. They've styled themselves as disrupters of the 'old order', but this new wave of technology companies is funded and steered by very old-school venture capitalists, who are pushing for monopoly power. In What's Yours Is Mine, Tom Slee argues that the so-called 'sharing economy' damages development, extends harsh free-market practices into previously protected areas of our lives, and presents the opportunity for a few people to make an enormous amount of money by damaging communities and pushing vulnerable individuals to take on unsustainable risk.Drawing on original empirical research, Slee shows that the friendly language of sharing, trust, and community masks a darker reality. In holding these companies to account, he asks- What is being shared, and in whose interest?
Tom Slee writes about technology, politics, and economics, and in the last two years has become a leading critic of the sharing economy. He has a PhD in theoretical chemistry, a long career in the software industry, and his book No One Makes You Shop at Wal-Mart is a game-theoretical investigation of individual choice that has been used in university economics, philosophy, and sociology courses. He lives in Waterloo, Canada and blogs at www.tomslee.net.