"History, real solemn history, I cannot be interested in.... I read it a little as a duty; but it tells me nothing that does not either vex or weary me. The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all - it is very tiresome." Jane Austen spoken by Catherine Morland in 'Northanger Abbey'
The Sharing Economy
Like most people in Canada, I'm conservative on fiscal issues, liberal on social ones and when it comes to what we do in our own homes, I'm perhaps libertarian as long as harm is not being done to those who dwell there or to our neighbours who also deserve their right to quiet enjoyment.
Airbnb (I track Airbnb, Kijiji and Craigslist rental listings here) is successful because of the demand for income in a state enforced "zero" interest rate economy where the incentive to access credit is greater than the need to manage one's balance sheet risk. It's all good if cash flow remains positive. There is nothing new or radical about Airbnb other than the technology that makes it possible to attract income from a wider network of sources. It's an inevitable outcome from the application of software and governments want their share of the private cash flow that has been drained away from the easier to tax business of commercial hotelier services.
The problem is not that Airbnb, Uber, Amazon, and all the transnational corporations have figured out a way to scrape off income from across national boundaries, but that our internal tax collection system needs to be modernized instead of the current model of punishment and reward. Long time readers of this space will recall my posts on the Automated Payment Transaction model where a micro fee of less than ±1% on every financial transaction is collected automatically at the source terminal doing away with all filing of personal and corporate income, sales, excise, capital gains, import and export duties, gift and estate taxes not to mention accountants, bookkeepers and lawyers hired to insure conformity to government agency rules since those government leviathans will disappear.
It's software folks and it's coming to a country near you sooner or later. So stop bitching about Airbnb and Uber and let loose the regulatory shackles. As Buckminster Fuller quipped: "Don't fight forces, use them."
Meanwhile the warring factions are at it:
New York Governor Cuomo signs bill that deals huge blow to Airbnb NY Post Oct 21, 2015
Airbnb Home Rental Nightmares
The Future is 10 Years Away - Uber Freight
To start, the Uber Freight marketplace will eliminate that middleman and offer shippers real-time pricing of what it will cost to move their goods based on supply and demand. Source: Business Insider October 26, 2016
How long before we see real estate
middle men disappear?
History, Charts & Curated Readings
"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement; and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana Vol. I, Reason in Common Sense