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The Book Room: Winter 2015

SHARING ISN’T CARING IN Tom Slee’s What’s Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy (Between the Lines). The book is an exploration of the fuzzy world of businesses that match consumers with purportedly amateur entrepreneurs (think Uber and Airbnb). But Slee argues that these billion dollar start-ups are wolves in sheep’s clothing, promoting themselves as community-minded underdogs as they leech off local governments and their pseudo-employees. Have these businesses led to improvements for consumers? There is no question: Uber’s cash-less transactions are a breeze and Airbnb offers an alternative to bland, cookie-cutter hotels; both companies offer consumers better rates than their competition. But they’ve achieved their success by avoiding taxes, taking advantage of “contractors” who are promised fortunes, and flouting regulations while daring local government to try and stop them. Slee documents the damage that the unfettered proliferation of these businesses has caused, such ...

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