January 27, 2016
The Politics of the Sharing Economy: Is it Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, or Green?
How do the political candidates feel about the sharing economy?
With primary season about to officially kick off, it got us in the Rented.com office wondering how the candidates and their parties feel, or at least should feel, about the hottest economic trend around right now: the sharing economy. To our surprise, we found that it may be the one issue in which they can all agree…it’s great!
But don’t trust me, let’s hear from the candidates:
The sharing economy embodies everything the Grand Old Party loves about property rights. Your car, your apartment or home, your free time, they all belong to you. Why should a Big Brother government come in and try and tell you what you can and cannot do with them? Short answer, it shouldn’t. The sharing economy is about property rights, free markets, and good old American hustle. Let’s get more of it so that we can make America great again.
Everyday Americans need a champion, and the sharing economy is it. This is because it takes things that were once luxuries available only to the 1% and increasingly makes them accessible to the masses. After all, Uber’s tagline is: “Everyone’s private driver.” The idea of a chauffeur would have seemed ridiculous for any but the richest a few short years ago. Now Uber, with your own private driver, is the safest way home after a night out for millions of people. And the same holds true across assets. Second homes are no longer just for the rich. With Airbnb, VRBO, and rented.com enabling people to make more money off of these homes than they cost, some are even buying “second” homes before they purchase their first. That’s right. A sharing revolution is coming.
What is more libertarian than exercising your right to be a micropreneur by starting your own business free from meddlesome, wrongheaded, and incoherent government interference? The sharing economy is the very modern embodiment of the core principles of libertarianism: personal liberty, economic liberty, and the only proper use of government power being the securing of that liberty. Rather than “trying to apply 20th-century solutions to 21st-century problems,” the government should clearly heed the push to #LegalizeFreedom.
The sharing economy is essentially built on the same four pillars as the Green Party: Peace, Ecology, Social Justice, and Democracy. Peace because as we share our assets, there is nothing left to fight over. Ecology because as we more efficiently use the assets we already have, there is less need to destroy the environment to produce yet more of them. Social Justice because the sharing economy allows us all to choose how, when, and where we want to work, and for how much. And finally Democracy because as explained above, the sharing economy democratizes assets and experiences previously only available to the few. That’s right, it is now: “One World, One Chance, Vote Sharing Economy.”
All of this to say, as we move into an ever more polarized election cycle, let’s be happy for the the one thing we can all agree on. Namely, the sharing economy and the benefits it brings us all.
How will you be voting? Let us know your thoughts on the politics of the sharing economy below!