Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rent your children out for 15.99 an hour

So, Avis is buying zipcars

This isn't about zipcars though.  I was thinking, is the reason why people now rent rather than own the result of not an attitude shift but a downgrade in amount of resources available.  I remember a time when everyone had to own a car at some point.  It was just expected not to mention the suits, technology, fashion and whatever else one might presumably own.  So we know that income and aspirations have been affected by this great recession, especially among younger crowds.  So is this shift towards greater resource efficiency a reflection of reduced means or do people genuinely want less stuff?  The point in favor of my hypothesis that we're really renting more because we're generally poorer because rich people don't really own any less stuff, if you look at boats, vacation properties, horses, and whatever else ridiculously useless items that they collect.  They don't seem to be affect by this cultural shift. I'm supposing, if and when we have a broad economic upturn lifting all boats, we will see the data that settles this question.

If indeed we are seeing a genuine shift towards rentals, where does it stop? can I rent your children?