Back in the first century a poet named Juvenal surmised that his fellow citizens of Rome would put up with just about anything from their government, as long as they had enough food and entertainment. "Give them bread and circuses, and they'll never revolt" he wrote sarcastically.
In the 1920's Fascist Prime Minister Benito Musolini said much the same thing of his fellow citizens in Italy. The people that he governed would tolerate just about anything he wanted to do, Musoli suggested, "as long as the trains run on time."
Today Americans seem as tolerant of bad abusive government as the ancient Romans and the 20th century Italians were back in the day. But statist politicans in America may just find that they've "jumped the shark," so to speak, if they continue to selfishly manipulate the "the sharing economy."
Despite the socialistic sounding name, the essence of "the sharing economy" is actually very positive. The term is used to describe individuals and organizations providing, on a very basic and freelance basis, products and services to people who want to pay for them, and the seller and buyer are usually brought together through a website or online community.
Take for example Uber.Com, a San Francisco-based venture that matches people who need a ride from one end of a city to another with people who have cars and are willing to travel. Visit the company's website, download the app, and search for people who are ready right now to shuttle you about. If you want to be a provider, Uber.Com has a screening process whereby you can register to deliver transportation services.
This very basic " seller-hooks-up-with-buyer" type of transaction is happening at an increasing rate in cities all across the country, all on a freelance non-professional basis and mostly all via online connections. Need someone in your area to run errands or perform household chores? TaskRabbit.Com might help you find a provider who's ready right now. Got an extra room to rent for people visiting your town? AirBnB.Com connects travelers with in-home accomodations.
With people freely choosing to sell their services - and others freely choosing to buy them - it may seem confusing why anbody would object to this type of productivity. But established business owners - small business owners and large corporations alike - don't like the competition, labor unions hate it because the service providers aren't "organized," and politicans think they're "losing tax revenue" that otherwise rightfully belongs to them.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.