Steve Hansen: ‘Sharing economy’ seems a bit risky


By Steve Hansen

Former QCS Managing Editor

Maybe I’m old fashioned, or just old, or just selfish, but the whole idea of the “sharing economy” is lost on me.

I don’t get Uber, Airbnb, and GoFundMe. To me, the gains do not match the risks.

If you pick up a rider on Uber, what’s going to stop your fare from making you the payee by, say, robbing you at gunpoint or refusing to pay?

Would I know Uber drivers are adequately insured and will drive safely, or whether they will rob you at gunpoint?

If you rent part of your house to someone using Airbnb, what guarantees you’ll get paid or that guests won’t walk off with your jewelry and your towels? How do you collect if they trash your house?

As a lodger, I would feel like an invader in a stranger’s home, even if it was a nice person’s mansion.

I find GoFundMe completely baffling.   Why would you believe the sob stories on GoFundMe without checking them out?

If I were looking for business investors, I would expect them to want to profit from their investment. Their expectation of a return is a vote of confidence and a great motivator.

I have never used eBay either, even though I’ve heard more success stories than tales of horror about it.

Maybe it’s just that, being old and all, I’d rather see, hear, taste, touch or smell before I buy, although I occasionally order things I can’t find anywhere else.

If I need to go somewhere in a large city, I’ll take a bus or hail a licensed cab, and that will be from my hotel or motel.

I will only invest or donate money to organizations I deem trustworthy, either by reputation or solid evidence.

Uber, Airbnb and GoFundMe have succeeded to the tune of billions of dollars worldwide, because many people are nicer and more trusting than I am.

So, maybe I’m wrong, but caution increases with age, and I still think being careful is a wonderful survival strategy.

Steve Hansen of Tucumcari writes about our life and times from his perspective of a retired journalist. Contact him at:

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