Sunday, November 23, 2014
Insurance Companies Expose the Oxymoron of the "Sharing Economy"
According to a story in the Business Report section of the San Francisco Chronicle, State Farm, Geico, and Allstate all agree on one thing: If you offer to drive a friend home from work because his car is in the shop, you are covered by your insurance policy. If you drive for Lyft or Uber, you are no longer covered, because you are now a livery service. The difference points out the underlying oxymoron that evangelists for the "sharing economy" are either too stupid to realize or too devious to share. When you offer resources with a friend without expecting compensation, you are sharing. As soon as money enters the picture, sharing stops and economic considerations begin. The fact that this inconvenient truth seems to have escaped the notice of so many members of the Municipal and County governments of San Francisco is either amusing or shocking, depending on your point of view. The fact that technology evangelists continue to wreak so much havoc on what is left of the everyday reality of our social world is nothing short of downright depressing.