The Sharing Economy

We’re starting to see glimpses of what the emerging new economy will look like. And it seems clear that what is being called “the sharing economy” will be part of it.

I’m not sure if there is yet any standard accepted definition of “the sharing economy,” but it is reflected in things like Air BnB and Uber. The idea is that we are taking things that are otherwise going unused or underused and turning them into a way to earn money, while providing a service to someone who needs it.

I’m a fan of the sharing economy. It seems to me to be a responsible way to use and conserve resources. And it appeals to my preference for thrift, frugality and community-based economies. I also like it because it sticks it to the man a little.

I have it on my mind after reading this interesting article. The authors are not fans, and their reasoning is interesting.

The piece uses a hypothetical young woman in Denver, who they name Zoe, as an illustration. Zoe works for a hotel, but the business is careful to limit her hours to 29 or less per week, so it doesn’t have to provide her with insurance or other benefits. To make ends meet Zoe does freelance landscaping through TaskRabbit, she shuttles people between bars on weekend nights through Uber and during tourist season she stays with her parents and rents out her apartment through AirBnb. These days, the authors say, people like Zoe will work for more people in a month that many in her parents’ generation worked for their entire lives.

The authors lament the loss of the employer-based economy, under which a person would go to work for a company and spend their entire working life there. The employer would provide insurance, paid vacations and possibly a pension. Zoe, they say, never goes on vacation, can save no money for retirement and only has insurance because of Obamacare.

But it seems to me that those things–retirement, paid vacation, “benefits”–are historical anomalies. An economy in which those things don’t come with employment, as perks, is just a return to the way things have always been. And, it seems to me, we’d better start getting used to not having them.

That’s not the only economic paradigm shift we’re facing when it comes to employment. We’ve already seen globalization gut the economies of the developed world, transforming us into supposed “service economies,” which might well be an unsustainable game of musical chairs. But now the rapid arrival of robotics and automation is eliminating jobs (by rendering them obsolete) in everything from agricultural labor to anesthesiology, and even more dramatic changes are immanent it seems to me.

If “the economy” is dependent upon consumer spending, yet is rapidly destroying the livelihoods of the consumers upon whom it depends, then something’s gotta give.

As we transition to the next state, the “sharing economy” will become increasingly important, it seems to me. And the new economy, whatever final form it may take, will be an economy that is less consumeristic and less dependent upon corporate employers, the government and illusions of prosperity.

At least that’s my hope. I don’t care for the alternatives.

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53 comments on “The Sharing Economy

  1. Sue says:

    Timely post as I have just finished watching a netflix on globalization and the loss of US Jobs.
    Personally, I think it’s a crime to take manufacturing overseas, and then expect consumers to buy these products –that are still priced as if they were paying U.S. labor. With what? Young people today are stuck with dead end jobs , no benefits and no hope of ever accumulating the wealth their parents could. Granted, there is a lot of “fluff” in what folks consider necessities today (Iphones/tablets/etc) that one could do without, but the point is–are we STUCK with “just getting by” ? I feel bad for my son and his peers. To say they should just train for something better is now not even an option for many—college costs are astronomical and even then there is no guarantee of a job. I can get by on $13K a year—I have a home. But for young people starting out, it’s a tragedy.
    (Sorry–here I go again!!)

    Like

    • Bill says:

      It’s a new world out there for young people, and I expect to see the job market continue to contract due to automation. That’s one of the reasons I think the sharing economy will be a part of the new economy. The era of the comfortable middle class, with 9-5 jobs, paid vacations, benefits and pensions, is probably over. But I’m optimistic that what will emerge in its place will be better over time. Whether it is or it isn’t though, it’s coming.

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  2. Joanna says:

    If, as you say, holidays will no longer be possible then surely AirBnb will also become redundant as there will be no tourist season. It doesn’t really sound like a sharing economy to me and maybe I am too idealistic, but I do hope that a sharing economy is one that really does get based on reciprocity meaning that people can go away on holiday, or at least get a change in scenery. Our world would be a poorer place without travel, but real travel, the sort that brings people into contact with other cultures and not just breezing through on a whistlestop tour.

    I’m sure I could write more too but the brain cells are not kicking in yet today, so I won’t 😀

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    • Bill says:

      I’m sure people will continue taking vacations. But the era of “paid” vacations as the norm is probably coming to an end.

      I agree that travel is enriching. But the vast majority of people don’t use their vacation time to go experience new cultures and explore new places. They usually just go to Disney or the beach. Nothing wrong with that of course, even though it doesn’t interest me much.

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      • Joanna says:

        I suppose that is where the Europeans and the Americans differ. To a European it already looks like America has no vacation time, whereas in Europe it is mandatory for four weeks even if you work part-time. I can see how that would be under pressure though with such flexible working practices.

        As for going to Disney or the beach, I suppose if it is truly a rest and restorative then there’s no harm. Not sure it usually is though

        Liked by 1 person

  3. smcasson says:

    I am a big fan of people making their way in the world on their terms, like Zoe. If they need a raise, they go find more clients, more jobs, more gigs. Hustle. This system of transactions being between two “real people” is much better, in my opinion. The “economy” may not like it, but it directly helps the people involved more. The barter system is getting more and more prevalent, too. I tell ya, what’s destroying the livelihoods of consumers is the consumers’ belief that they *need* the corporate jobs, and the vast quantities of products and services they provide. The message is, “do nothing for yourself, buy everything you need instead!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      Yep. I admire the Zoes of the world. Instead of sitting around and bemoaning the new economic reality, people like her dive into it and try to make the best of it. I totally agree with you on the preference for transactions between real people. That’s one of the best things that the new technology has facilitated–a new economy that makes it easier than ever to match a need to a service or product. As I said, I’m a fan. We’re advocates of bartering too and I expect it will become more and more prevalent. We live in interesting times.

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  4. BeeHappee says:

    This is interesting Bill. I suppose you can spin “sharing economy” either way, claim it that it is a shift in human consciousness or claim that it is just a disguise of the worst capitalism. Of course there is the sharing part and then there is the economy part.
    But I think it is really up to us how we will choose to use the ideas and capabilities. Living in the past is delusional, we do have to accept that things have changed. It was not the so called “sharing economy” that took away people’s retirement, vacation, and benefits. Being employed full time even in prestigious positions now does not guarantee you any vacation, employer paid benefits, or retirement. IMHO, when those things were readily available, there was a sharing economy of sorts, employee would share their loyalty in exchange of security. There used to be sharing economy in the local communities, in the villages, etc. Then that was gone. Now we are seeing interesting developments, with sharing mentally hopefully coming back and from more interesting and wider angles. It is just the rest of the system that needs to adjust to that with proper support systems, and I am pretty sure young folks will figure it out.
    I am not sure what is this idealization of the middle-class and some 1950s model. Do we really need to go back to the ‘more we spend the better we are off’ in our suburban ticky-tacky boxes?
    I like the opportunities that technology and sharing allows. It allows me to search my local food enthusiasts for a person who wans to split 1/4 of a cow with me, if I cannot afford the whole thing from the farmer. There was always that type of sharing economy in tightly knit communities of family and friends. But since we do not have those tightly knit communities much anymore, now we may end up sharing with total strangers, and everyone benefits.

    Liked by 2 people

    • shoreacres says:

      I do wish for a return of certain 1950s values. WHen I was growing up, it had nothing to do with “ticky-tacky” and absolutely nothing to do with consumerism. None of my family, or their friends, were part of a “the more we spend the better off we are” world-view. They were too close to the war, the depression, and real poverty.

      People understood the value of work, responsibilty, mutual support, and thrift. I could go on — but it’s enough to say that demonizing and idealizing are two ends of the same spectrum. Better to appreciate what was valuable a half-century ago (and more!) and find new ways to encourage those values.

      Liked by 2 people

      • BeeHappee says:

        Linda, that is not how Soviet propaganda portrayed Americans in 1950-1970 (we saw America as one big fat ignorant capitalist) 🙂
        Ok, but kidding aside, yes, I am in agreement with you, it is the values that matter. But ‘economists’ would think otherwise.
        I was not here in the 1950s, so you know better. It does aggravate me when people complain how all was perfect back in the day, when everyone was white, hard working, this or that (sorry, I hear that on a daily basis) and if we just somehow make that all come back it would be wonderful. Well, it is not coming back. And we can only start with ourselves and working for the good of the community like Bill and Cherie are doing.

        Yes you are right below on smart phones and trust level. The 20 somethings have different perspective on those also. Many of my co-workers are in their 20s and live in the city of Chicago, they are Uber users, and sometimes I watch with amazement how quick they are with their gadgets, and it never ceases to amaze me what and how they use their smart phones for.

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      • Bill says:

        We had a young family from Washington DC as farm-stay guests recently (through AirBnB). The couple both work for the World Bank and one of them told us how the smart phone technology is being used by farmers in Africa to coordinate sharing a tractor or other equipment. It’s like Uber or AirBnB for tractors. Not the ideal solution from the perspective of a tractor manufacturer, but a great thing for the farmers there.

        Sorry to butt in, but wanted to share that…

        Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      Well said Bee. I’m pleased to see people offering the extra bedroom in their house to travelers, rather than just letting it sit empty. I’m pleased that lots of people would prefer the intimacy of being house guests of people in another city, rather than being guests in a hotel. I like crowdsourcing as an alternative to bank financing–I think it fosters a sense of community and self-reliance. I like Craigslist and Ebay and all the other ways we can exchange things we no longer need with those who can use them. I love the idea of giving people rides when they need them, and saving them the necessity of using taxis. Of course I like the increasing popularity of farmers markets and CSAs. These kinds of sharing are good ways to turn total strangers into friends. At a minimum they are good opportunities for friendliness and neighborliness in a culture that was rapidly discarding them.

      I don’t know how it will all shake out, but I’m not persuaded that the world would be better off if Zoe went to work for Acme Corp on the day she graduated, put in her 40 years there, then got a gold watch and a pension. This new economic model, driven largely by necessity I realize, is a better imitation of nature.

      Liked by 2 people

      • BeeHappee says:

        I did see some of that Bill, the Acme model. I worked for a belt conveyor component company that was established here in Chicago in 1907 and still in business, still privately owned. it was great, they do have pension, they have wonderful people, who stay there for 30-40 years and retire. Innovation is low there. Also, in the last decade even those rare companies changed a bit due to the pressures from cheaper made in China product etc. Still, we thrived on the extraordinary values and culture, the treatment of the customer. People do sort it out, naturally, what they need, it is just that sometimes it may even take generation or two…

        I love my CSA guys. I am gonna write a post of them again, you inspired me Bill all this talk about sharing economy. Sadly, most sharing is happening among the so called ‘poor’ and not the middle class or well off. But I am glad that sharing is becoming more hip, meaning it will eventually infiltrate the stagnant ‘middle class’. I am still not sure what middle-class’ that article was talking about, as those who are considered ‘middle class’ these days, are poorer than anyone when you consider the amount of debt they have…At least, from the sounds of it, Zoe is not in debt, slaving for some corporation and paying off her 100K student loan…

        Liked by 2 people

  5. bobraxton says:

    The beginning of the Industrial Revolution may be as early as around 1820 in U.S. and my great grandfather (NC Quaker) lives 1854 – 1920; however, four years before his death, my own father was born – and he lived through the Great Depression. Like rural electrification (came along in NC around the time Hitler did in Europe) the “money economy” was something new and a novelty. I have noticed this in East Africa since my own first month-long work camp there in 1980. My father (died 1988) worked as a carpenter (hourly wages) and most of those years (after serving in World War II) he lacked all those things, too. I finished college, went to theological seminary three more years in New York City and personally (married to minister, now retired, PC(USA) ) experience some of these – especially “retirement” benefits, Social Security (which my parents did have) and most especially insurance, including Medicare supplement (for which we pay hefty but affordable premiums). You are right – and I enjoy your thoughtful reflections. You wrote “historical anomalies. An economy in which those things don’t come with employment, as perks, is just a return to the way things have always been”

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    • Bill says:

      However good these kinds of things are in principle, the demographics make them unsustainable now. Increased longevity, the skyrocketing costs of higher education and healthcare, globalization, automation and robotics–all combine (with plenty of other things) to make a new economy inevitable. I expect history will remember the second half of the 20th Century as a time when “middle class” economic culture rose, and fell.

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      • okay, so riddle me this – and this is bound to raise a few hackles..
        So, if the poor don’t make enough money to pay tax (overtly); and the rich don’t pay tax because they don’t feel they need to; then what’s going to happen when the middle class isn’t around to pay the lion’s share anymore, when governments are already up to their eyeballs in debt… Why shouldn’t everyone pay their fair share?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. ain't for city gals says:

    It seems as if my husband and I have always lived in a shared economy since we have mostly worked for ourselves but it is getting harder and harder. We have never had any benefits etc but we have had freedom to do what we wanted and work as hard as we wanted. If the young people of today go this route I wish them luck…

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  7. shoreacres says:

    Of course, as a self-employed person, I’ve lived without guaranteed vacation, pension, or health benefits for a quarter-century. (I do have Medicare now that I’m over 65, but that brings up another point. Well past retirement age, I can’t afford to retire if I wanted to — which, at this point, I don’t.)

    One of the interesting things BeeHappee said is, “since we do not have those tightly knit communities much anymore, now we may end up sharing with total strangers, and everyone benefit.” But that’s a problem for things like Uber and AirBnB. The lack of tightly knit communities also lowers the trust level. Would I get into a car with an Uber driver in Houston? No way. Would I allow someone to make use of my home when I’m not here? Absolutely not. I know people who have done so, and have been very, very unhappy with the experience.

    There’s something else. Services like Uber requires participation in the world of smart phones and iGadgets. People sometimes assume they’re ubiquitous, but they aren’t.

    And then there’s this brand, spanking new legal decision, that could abet the process of turning Uber into exactly what it never was meant to be.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bill says:

      It seems to me that these kinds of services have the potential to raise the trust level, rather than lower it. I like doing business with real people this way. Transactions are not done anonymously or without any due diligence the way they are typically when you check into a hotel or hail a cab. With Uber, my understanding is that the users rate the providers and anyone who doesn’t maintain a very high rating gets booted. Before you get in an Uber vehicle you can check out the drivers info, record, etc. When you hail a cab, you can’t do those things. We’ve been very pleased with AirBnB. I’m sorry for your friends who have had bad experiences but based on our research that is rare. AB users and providers can get a comfort level with each other before committing, making it much more personal and safe (in my opinion) than renting a hotel room. Both users and providers are rated and that can be considered in determining whether to agree to a rent/stay. Should a guest do any damage, AB insures the loss. In the end some will trust and prefer traditional corporate service providers and some will trust and prefer the person-to-person transactions. It’s good to have options I think and good that markets can be made for unused or underutilized resources.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BeeHappee says:

        Yes, I agree, Bill. My sister has traveled the whole world and one thing that made it possible for her and her partner is some service similar to AB, where they could stay at stranger houses in various countries. They traveled to all European countries, Middle East, etc, stayed at the people found over the web, and never had an issue, and met tons of wonderful people and learned about the culture much more than they would have staying in some touristy hotel. Sometimes it was just an apartment of a single person, sometimes it was a house of a whole Iranian family living there and feeding them. 🙂
        Trust is just a spectrum, some people may have none and some will have lots. . . Much hurt is done to us by people we trust most, our family members. My grandma remembered the days when peddlers, often jewish peddlers would walk with some goods through Lithuanian villages. She was telling me how people had little trust for them, because they were outsiders and they were selling something. yet, there were always someone who would buy the goods, and someone who would not. . . There used to be lots of door to door selling back when. There is some trust there. Everything is a gamble. Our every day on this earth is a gamble.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Laurie Graves says:

    I do want to put in a good word for government, which is so often vilified. Because of Obamacare, my husband can retire and become part of the sharing economy. Without Obamacare, there is no way we could have afforded insurance, which at our age, we need. I know all too well from experience how easy is to go from being well to needing healthcare. (This is my fifth year of being cancer-free. Yay!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      Yay Laurie! My hope is that cancer will never again intrude on your life. 🙂

      In the Zoe example, she was only able to afford insurance because of Obamacare. I’m sure there are lots of people, like you and your husband, who are benefiting from it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Laurie Graves says:

        Thanks, Bill! Fingers and toes crossed. Obamacare, I think, will give many people the freedom to follow their dreams and inclinations rather than stick with a job solely because of the health-care benefits.

        Liked by 4 people

  9. avwalters says:

    I fear that before a true “sharing” economy can work there will be a great leveling. How can honest vegetables compete with high tech gadgets? How does one effect a trade? In this country, we have for too long been living accustomed to been “overdrawn.” Overdrawn in terms of personal debt, overdrawn in terms of our trade relationships with countries whose economies were oppressed, and overdrawn in terms of the resources we used at the expense of the environment and future generations. We need to rethink the concept of necessities and extras.We should do so quickly, before it is done for us, and not on our terms.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Super interesting discussion (as they so often are on your blog Bill). I have noticed a surge in the sharing economy too, and I think that as is mentioned by others, it may be somewhat generational. I might add too, that consumerism is probably driven by easy credit as much as anything else. There’s an old documentary around on DVD called “Maxed Out” which addresses that topic quite well.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      This one did generate some great discussion. It seems to me that young people are definitely more plugged into the sharing economy than the older generation. That’s unsurprising I suppose, since they’re the ones inventing it. I sense that younger people are less willing to go into debt than the previous generation, or maybe they’re just less able to get credit. Either way, we have to stop living “maxed out”. No person, family, community, company or country can continually consume more than it earns. Eventually that must lead to collapse.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. shoreacres says:

    So, I’m home from work and doing my quick skim of my feeds, and find this really interesting article: “Schumpeterian creative destruction — the rise of Uber and the great taxicab collapse.” It’s understandable, despite that big word in the title. It reminded me that there’s a flat-out war going on between taxis and Uber drivers in Houston.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      I don’t have time to read it now, but I do enjoy Mark Perry’s writing. Cherie told me about the effect Uber is having on Medallion. Good, I say. As for the war in Houston, my money would be on Uber in fair fight. But my guess is that when the Govco muscle starts getting thrown around, it will be on the side of the cab companies, so it might not be a fair fight.

      Like

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        Afte reading the article about the lawsuit against uber, it seems to me that the initial grievance concerned drivers not receiving the tips which were supposedly guaranteed and included in the cost of a ride… How much strife could be avoided in this world if we treated each other fairly? That is the difference between success and failure in a trusting arrangement.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. EllaDee says:

    Sharing is the new black market. Nothing new there except the utilisation of technology. Unlike the corporate world the wider sharing economy is spared the ceilings, bottlenecks and shareholder dividend considerations. It has the potential to open up under-utilised resources and potential. People have the potential to accomplish beyond the considerations of employer benefits. It will be interesting to see how governments quantify the tax potential of the sharing economy.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      One of our senators has already come out for trying to find ways to tax the sharing economy. It’s a potential revenue source, so they’ll find it irresistible. It’s already a black market, as you say, but expect it to become even more so once the tax man comes around.

      Like

  13. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, wow, I’m not sure anything else can be added to this discussion. I come from a generation that got hired at age 20 to a well known and well established company. It had all the benefits that are now extinct. I worked to age 61 and retired with a pension and secondary health care plan. That breed of worker and company marriage doesn’t exist any more. The working world is way different than what I retired from. Both company and worker do not trust nor can they rely on the security of always having a job that pays a fair wage for a fair amount of work. I’m just glad not to be in the working world or have to find a job in today’s working environment. I have not secured wealth by any means and will have my house paid for if I live to be 91. I am very much a part of the middle class that’s sliding slowly downward to the lower class.

    We as a country have gone through many economic ups and downs. The work force has gone through many transitions. I have faith that this generation will come through yet another transition just fine. Our success as a world leader is based on innovation. I still think there is some of that left to be found in our young people. I’m growing one of those innovators right in my own household. At 10 years old he knows a lot more about living, building, inventing, and building relationships than I did at 10. I mean it in a good way. We have survived for 239 years. I think we can make it through another rut in the road.

    Have a great country issue solving day. 😩

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bill says:

      I’m optimistic about the future, but it will not be the world we imagined in the 50s and 60s. It’s interesting that back when corporate employers made those kinds of deals with their employees, corporate profits were much more modest than they are now and the average employee’s compensation wasn’t as radically different from the CEO’s comp as it is now. My guess it that in the future the only way to get those kinds of “benefits” will be to work for the government. But the citizens will only put up with paying for that for so long.

      Like

  14. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Henry Ford believed in paying a living wage so that his employees could also afford to be his customers…
    On the other hand, we now have the “Roger and Me” scenario… where the goal is to either outsource or mechanise jobs in Automotive Assembly Plants. If you are still “lucky” enough to have a job with benefits protected under contract, you can bet that the wage approaches the minimum – sacrifice everything in order to keep your job – instead of being compensated for prematurely wearing out the body and numbing the mind…
    Better that we all become “Makers” instead of “Takers”: be your own best employer, skip the Middleman and harvest what you sow.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Yep. Well said. And if I recall correctly Ford was the first company to offer health insurance for its employees. They did it to in order to recruit better employees and to promote employee loyalty.

      Like

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        Yeah, what a concept – investing in employees – to be considered as an asset to your company… Could this holistic, but apparently outdated, attitude be considered probiotic vs the generally antibiotic work environment of today?
        Regardless of where disrespectful employment practices occur; people are not stupid and there will be a backlash, eventually.
        Do unto others…

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh, and did I mention that “Barter is GOOD!”?

    Like

  16. bobraxton says:

    I have been an employee. I have been self-employed (but not nearly so much). The third part is self-employed who also employs others – and by then, “we have met the enemy and the enemy is us.” Feb 7, 2014 – The overall U.S. jobs numbers show no rise in this segment. … Of [self-employed], 9.2 million were unincorporated self-employed workers and another 5.2 million were incorporated … small business – owners / and employing.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      The emerging economy will likely involve a lot more self employment and multiple part-time jobs, it seems to me.

      Like

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        We are within an hour of what, for well over a century, was formerly Canada’s industrial heartland – the Golden Horseshoe of Southern Ontario – including, but not limited to “The Big Three” of General Motors, Ford & Chrysler; later including Honda, Toyota and Cami/Saturn and all of the feeder plants from miles around…
        Recent statistics however, tell us that the overwhelming majority of “new jobs” being created are part time, zero benefits, minimum wage crap – for the most part at the newest Tim Horton’s coffee shop or selling other peoples’ junk and industrial drugs at Shoppers’ Drug Mart… (Both of which seem to be popping up everywhere like mushrooms after a rain):

        Like

  17. Insightful post, Bill. Thank you.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Today I heard about a community that created a facebook group called “Don’t Buy Anything” (or something like that). Any time someone needs something they don’t have, they post to see who has one they can borrow. Any time someone is about to throw away something potentially useful they post first to see if anyone else wants it. I love that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I really like that practice. A great idea. We throw out way too much these days. It feels almost criminal!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        Hi Cynthia and Bill, so glad you mentioned this. I was brought up to believe that, if I took good care of my things, they’d last a lifetime and I delight in finding and using tools “with experience” (and it’s almost as though I glean some of that experience, every time I use them: ) Of course, these things were also made to last a lifetime too, weren’t they – unlike some/ many/ most of those made today where expediency and “efficiencies” are the bottom line):):
        I was also taught to take pride in the things I make/ create – to do something once and do it well – but, there were times that I was unable to do so, and it was incredibly frustrating and unfulfilling work…

        Liked by 3 people

      • So well said, Deb. It saddens me to see how we are losing that tradition of both well-made, long-lasting products/creations and repairing and continuing to use those things. It’s so difficult these days to find people who can repair things. What’s a country that no longer makes its own goods and no longer knows how to repair things that break down? Maybe it’s just a generational thing, but I know that one well-made item is way better than three flimsy ones.

        Like

      • bobraxton says:

        Fell deep kinship with Deb. I really liked a (shorter than usual) 12-point “finishing” handsaw which I believe to have been used by my maternal great-grandfather George Newton Stafford (when he worked in Florida early-century housing boom) – that’s 20th century. I graduated from college North Carolina (Wake Forest) in 1966 and moved to NYC and around 1969 at a nearby “flea market” (we lived on West 29th Street, Chelsea) I found that “exact same” 12-point Diston finishing hand saw – and I bought it – for about 25 cents or 50 cents. I cherished it and moved it to NJ (1975) and later to Virginia (1984). Sadly, as my brain has been aging, it has gone missing (I say someone came into our garage and engaged in thievery – but why would anyone?) It has “gone to handsaw heaven.” My own father (died 1988) was a carpenter (after the War) and taught me the trade – from 1951 (I was age 7) through summer of 1965. I started at $1 per hour in 1960 (age 15) and by sixth summer my wages were $1.90 per hour, almost as much as what Daddy was still earning. My parents had eight children by 1960.

        Liked by 2 people

  18. dilipnaidu says:

    Well written Bill.
    Yes the world economy is changing faster now than ever before. And any change does bring with it certain challenges. As globalization has come to stay it becomes the responsibility of our economists to balance growth with needs of individual and minimize the negative effects of change. Globalization can only succeed if all nations play their role in a spirit of give and take.

    Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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