With a Pew Report revealing that the majority of Americans aren't aware of the buzz-terms such as "sharing economy" used by investors, entrepreneurs and the media, the question is, why do we call it the sharing economy? And what should we call it?
But the question of what these business models should be called is not some philosophical thought exercise. For some, the idea that the industry is motivated by compassion or goodwill is objectionable; Uber has inspired transcontinental protests and even been likened to ISIS, while AirBnB has been targeted by legislators in dozens of states. “Obviously ‘the sharing economy’ is a misnomer, which the industry no doubt likes a lot,” said Dean Baker, an economist and the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. “It’s got nothing to do with sharing. They’re profit-making companies.”