What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy


What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy

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Description of What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy

A trained scientist with a long career in the software industry, Slee laments the missed opportunity for building real community through the wise use of technology. His declared motive for writing the book was “a sense of betrayal: that what started as an appeal to community, person-to-person connections, sustainability, and sharing has become the playground of billionaires, Wall Street, and venture capitalists extending their free-market values ever further into our personal lives.” Slee rejects the assumption that technology somehow trumps political economy, and he has no patience for “solutionism,” or the belief that technology can solve complex social problems.

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The news is full of their names, supposedly the vanguard of a rethinking of capitalism. Lyft, Airbnb, Taskrabbit, Uber, and many more companies have a mandate of disruption and upending the "old order"-and they've succeeded in effecting the "biggest change in the American workforce in over a century," according to former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. But this new wave of technology companies is funded and steered by very old-school venture capitalists. And in What's Yours Is Mine, technologist Tom Slee argues 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 fortunes 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.