Sharing your life with strangers is an important part of building the economy. The sharing economy involves freelance work often facilitated by a larger company that can choose who works for them, and sometimes supervises transactions between customers and workers. Companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb, which encourage the social economy, have become very popular recently. With the rise of the internet, and advancements in app development, the ability to do freelance work is at an all-time high. The sharing economy comes more naturally to younger generations, because of the fact that they have grown up always having the internet. It is also a point in time for generations, typically Millennials, and the earlier members of Generation Z, that they may not be completely settled into the job they ideally want, and they probably do not have complete financial stability, so being able to easily make money while working another job, or studying in college is appealing to them. When thinking about anything, you should always consider both the benefits, and the detriments, especially when it comes to the economy. The most prominent argument people have against the sharing economy is that it is taking us away from more traditional businesses, however, there is always going to be a demand for both. I strongly believe that the sharing economy is improving the economy as a whole.
“History never repeats itself, but it rhymes...”— Mark Twain
Remember the classic "death scene" from the movie Deep Blue Sea (can the movie actually be 20 years old now?), where Samuel L. Jackson's lead character offers sage advice to his cohorts, who are trapped under the ocean with him, along with a huge shark? The iconic actor delivers this sage advice, just before he shockingly gets eaten mid-soliloquy:
Globalization, whether its effects have been positive or negative, is a fact of the current economy of the United States. The resources of the globe are so totally intertwined that it is near impossible to separate them. The capitalistic nature of the global economy is to blame. Every business in the world seeks to minimize costs in order to maximize profits. Because of this, there has been a shift in the global labor market. Trades that used to be the backbone of the American economy have been shipped overseas in many cases. Is this detrimental to the American worker? If you work in certain sectors of the economy, you would most certainly say yes. There are companies coming into the United States that are replacing these jobs and are providing more for their workers than any American firm would. This, truly, cannot be seen as detrimental.
How easy is it to buy a new pair of shoes knowing that the proceeds will buy shoes for a child in a third world country? It’s the warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing each purchase makes a difference in the world. But what if that same purchase that appears to change someone’s life for the better actually does the opposite? What if that purchase ultimately destroys another country’s economy? TOMS shoes found itself in this very predicament. When Blake Mycoskie travelled to Argentina in 2006, his life changed forever. His heart was broken by the amount of children living without shoes, causing pain and disease. He immediately sprung into action, creating the “One-for-One” concept that buying one pair of shoes will give another pair to a child in need. The idea was genius and his business, which originated as “Tomorrow’s Shoes” as the idea, was to donate the pair of shoes the next day, took off in sales. Over the next few years, Mycoskie also added bags, coffee, and sunglasses to his company’s catalogue, making each item a different form of his “One-for-One” concept. Mycoskie’s ideas, business, and products were highly successful, but what was the impact on those third world countries he initially was trying to reach? The results were not as positive. Constant donations of shoes actually began to wound the struggling economies he was trying to assist, and suddenly Mycoskie’s pure intentions were not enough. While many companies and organizations strive to aid and support third world countries, those same groups often do more harm than good to the impoverished economies by taking away jobs and business opportunities.
I have a saying: Corporations paying minimum wage are basically telling employees that they would pay them less if they could legally do so. Many American workers are making minimum wage or slightly above it. The reality for them is that seven or eight dollars an hour is impossible to truly live off of. Across the country, that barely pays for rent, never mind food, a car note, or car insurance. There is just not enough money there. In the meantime, greedy employers literally make billions on the backs of their workers. And it gets so much worse.
Ah, Social Security. It's a boon for all those who want to retire or just cut down on work during their old age. After paying into it for decades, every American citizen will get the change to qualify for payouts that can help them live a comfortable lifestyle in retirement.
I am here to share a story about living and working in Dallas, Texas. People want to move here because they see that there are a lot of money opportunities here, but what they don't see is that it's also hard to find jobs here. Yes it is a lot of money flowing around, but the reality here is...it depends if you get the opportunity or not. Particularly for black people, it's hard here in Dallas. You have some employers here that are "secretly racist." They don't say any racist slurs but they ask you a lot of questions and then they rush you to the next question, not letting you answer much. One thing is for sure: they are not smiling at you because they are not happy to see you. They treat you differently than the other candidates. Here is another problem we face as job candidates: being bilingual. These days, you can't pass up a post that says "bilingual required." It's way too many!! It's hurting a lot of people who don't speak Spanish. You don't hear a lot of this because we have been trained here in Texas to not speak about certain things.
Ah, the 401(k)—the modern corporate pension. Having a 401(k) is a smart way to make sure that you have enough money later on down the road, and if you're like many other Americans, it's also an epic retirement plan option given to you by the company you're employed by.
When I was in high school, I took a consumer finance class. I have always been inclined to be business minded and I remember being very excited about the class when I registered. It only took me a few weeks to realize I was going to be sorely disappointed. One moment that accurately describes the entirety of the class was when the teacher shared an anecdote of a woman who she claimed was “the best investor she knew.”