Left-wing critique of the “sharing economy”. Platforms such as Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Homejoy invoke progressive values such as decentralisation, sustainability, community and trust in their business models. But that is marketing, mainly. The bigger the sector grows, the more it is captured by relatively conventional, centralised, profit-driven actors who use aspects of the sharing model to evade regulation.
The “sharing economy” has seen a rapid slide away from collaborative sharing towards further deregulated and precarious employment — the direct consequence of venture capital funding and the growth imperatives that come with that money. Such a project won’t bring us any closer to the more equitable society we want to see any time soon.