Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Should The "Sharing Economy" Be Seen As A Threat To Union Jobs?

An argument could be made for a "yes" answer to that question.  Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft threaten the livelihood of unionized cab drivers, and space-sharing services for tourist and business travellers like Airbnb threaten to do the same for unionized hotel/apartment hotels.  But when I read stories like this, I wonder.  Airbnb indirectly allows the owners of historic, landmarked properties to maintain the character of their properties, thus promoting tourism, and also provide a secondary or even primary income for their owners.

Maybe the solution lies someplace other than banning these services.  Maybe local governments should embrace such services in exchange for better regulating them--and find other means to promote union jobs.  As for the employers of those jobs, perhaps they should focus on what capitalists are allegedly supposed to focus on:  creating more value, instead of figuring out new and more exciting ways to buy out government.

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