The Character of Wage Labor

I took this phrase directly from the book Capitalism: A Short History. Which I am slowly reading – or more correctly, wading through – and getting lots of poorly-formed ideas in my head.

So much went on – and so fast, in the last half of the last Century! But the end of all this frantic rush seems to be ending in the Computer, with its networks – the Internet and Wireless.

We can stop, catch our breath, and ask ourselves “Where are we?” And “What are we doing?” Or even more basically “What are we now?”

We now live in a New World – as new as the world we once discovered in the Western Hemisphere. Where we relate to each other differently. And where many people are saying, as loudly as they can “Nothing has changed at all!”

We know where we came from – the Industrial World. But we do not know where we are now – it is so new we have no words for it yet.

I just met an old friend of mine down here, who tells me she is now working with airbnb. She has a beautiful house (which she does not own) that people can rent for short periods. She does a meet and greet when they arrive – takes them to the house (which is outside of the town they want to explore, in a scenic location) and shows them the house. When the rental period is over, she makes sure they were satisfied. And then cleans the house, and makes it ready for the next rental.

She is not working for a wage – but functions as a go-between. Making money in an area where there are few jobs.

Airbnb takes care of everything else – including the Web site, that makes everything possible.

Airbnb has created value where none existed before.


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