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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Uber is NOT sharing!

To call Uber sharing is to pervert the concept. Sharing does not involve the charging of fees or earning of profit. Uber and Airbnb are not part of the sharing economy, they are agents for unqualified freelancers operating taxis and hotels. Both need regulation and enforcement as such. Besides the app's coordination of the freelancing, there is nothing new or innovative about either. They twist the sharing label to justify their flagrant violation of regulations and law. Their business model is familiar and old, profit without responsibility.Without legal costs and employees it's no wonder they hare earned a lot of money  and are cheaper than legitimate businesses. They leave the overhead to the freelancers and the risk to everyone except themselves. Like a street gang or the Mafia, they add nothing.

Ride sharing is basically carpooling with complete strangers. You may agree to split any fuel costs or food on long trips but the drier doesn't charge a fee. A ride-sharing service allows the driver and strangers to connect and may charge a fee or subscription for the app that does so, but it doesn't charge for the actual ride. The ride is free. Uber is at best a Taxi-splitting service. If you split a pizza with four strangers you wouldn't pay Pizza Hut or the person in your group carrying the pie a special fee for doing so. Pizza Hut doesn't call itself a pizza-sharing service. The sharing economy is defined by its lack of financial transactions and use of spare resources that otherwise generate waste. Often direct exchange isn't involved. Those sharing expect to have their need met by entirely different people when needed. It matches need with excess whether it be in skills, goods, or services, and works on the idea expressed as "paying it forward" and "what goes around comes around".  Uber drivers don't share their vehicles, they use them to earn a income. Same with Airbnb.

Call it what it is.