|A crack-ho is rented equipment. Your spouse is one you have ownership in.|
The "cool kids" are talking about owning nothing and sharing or renting everything. Uber is held up as an example of the "new economy" and how the younger generations are going to thrive in an era of growing scarcity.
I think they are crazy.
Back when I was younger and even more naive than I am now, I was give a job supervising a production group in a large factory with a unionized workforce. Manpower turnover was a constant challenge.
This factory operated on the "team" concept and everybody rotated. The advantage of rotation was that it reduced the rate of repetitive motion injuries like Carpal Tunnel inflammation because it varied the parts of the body that were most challenged. You might have two jobs that kicked your ass, two that were moderate in difficulty and two that were a walk-in-the-park. A typical sequence was to have a moderate-ass kicker-recovery sequence.
In my naivite I suggested that we train "the new guy" on the easiest jobs first because he could pick them up more quickly and engage in a larger percentage of the rotation early in his training cycle.
The team looked at me like I had lost my marbles.
An old grizzled guy named Chuck Bogart took me aside and explained the facts of life to me. "We will get stuck with that yahoo if he learns two jobs (a contractual fact). If he starts on the two easiest jobs he has no incentive to learn any of the harder ones and the people who already earned their way in will have to rotate over their recovery job."
"You gotta start him on he hardest jobs. If he can't learn those, throw him back and get another."
The "metric" my boss had given me was to get the new team member into full rotation as quickly as possible. It had never occurred to me that an adult would stop trying short of that goal.
Like I said, I was naive.
Back to the rental economy
HUD, the Federal Department for Housing and Urban Development projects that carpets in rental units have a life expectancy of 5 years before they need to be replaced.
I asked the lovely and frugal Mrs ERJ how many times we have replaced our living room rug in the past 30 years. She informed me that this is our second rug.
We live on a dirt road and have a gravel driveway. I garden. We walk through the garage to enter the house. We have large dogs. We had four children. In terms of potential, we can really challenge floor-coverings. And ours lasted at least three times as long as HUD says it should have lasted.
Why do you suppose that is?
Maybe it is because that as home-owners, the cost of replacing the floor covering comes directly out of our pockets. If we buy new carpet then we must go without something else we want. We cannot spend the same dollar twice.
May I humbly suggest that the shared/loaner/rental economy will not produce the results that the naive planners believe it will? The shared economy dilutes responsibility for upkeep and will enable wastrels to access and destroy resources they would otherwise not be able to access.
And, for lack of a more solid data-point, may I suggest that the average lifespan of a rental anything will be about 1/3 of a piece of equipment that is privately owned. Of course, it will be much shorter in actual calendar time because it will not spend nearly as much time in the garage. Rather, it will get turned around and re-rented when it is in demand (like a rototiller) and then parked outside the shed in the weather during the off-season.
That is not a robust way to extend resources in times of scarcity.
There will be exceptions. Some rental managers will be drill sergeants on maintenance and docking damage deposits of bad renters. But those people will be the exceptions.