The Collaborative Consumption Trap
March 8, 2014 7:25 PM   Subscribe

 
Rent It Out!
posted by cashman at 7:38 PM on March 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


This concept really worries me. And the reference to the "two-income trap" in the article is eye-opening.
posted by penduluum at 7:42 PM on March 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oh? Because I have no idea what he's even trying to get at.

I already know people who can only afford to pay their rent by renting out their place on Airbnb.

First of all, no you don't. That doesn't even make sense.

Second of all, so if Air BnB didn't exist, wouldn't their (made-up) situation be even worse? I can see the concern about services like Uber, which are scummy and predatory and represent an attack on an existing, regulated service in taxis. But otherwise I don't see how this makes sense even a little.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:45 PM on March 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Like drjimmy11, I'd love to hear people's stories of how this affects them. I often wonder about how people with what I consider relatively high paying jobs, and savings, end up "renting out our couches, giving rides after work, and running tasks on the weekends just to stay afloat". Like, what is figuring into the equation? I mean we all have our vices and must-haves, so I just wonder what those things are. I usually assume there are a couple of items in there that are personal preference must haves rather than actual necessities.
posted by cashman at 7:47 PM on March 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


The two-income trap is bogus, but then so is the rest of the piece.

People getting together to agree to support one another by working, and to barter/trade/sell services somehow produces higher prices and less security? Errr . . . what?

I wonder if couples these days are more dependent on two incomes partly because in a free-market economy we're under a huge amount of pressure both implicit and explicit to spend and to consume. At any rate, bartering or selling various things have been a mainstay for scrappy survivors for a very long time.
posted by Peach at 7:53 PM on March 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Race to the bottom. But fuck it let's go all in! Kids don't need college, they need to work! Real jobs. In factories. Their little hands are so nimble at putting things together, and it's like a big puzzle for them. Fun all day long, and then they can help support their families.
posted by wuwei at 7:54 PM on March 8, 2014 [18 favorites]


First of all, no you don't. That doesn't even make sense.

What "doesn't make sense" about making rent by renting out your place on AirBnB? I live in a 2-bedroom apartment, and I could ditch my roommate and rent out the spare room on AirBnB for a competitive amount per night - and would be able to make my rent entirely through that. If I didn't have a job, I'd HAVE to do that.

I also know a couple that rents in Brooklyn and owns a house upstate; they rent both places out on AirBnB. When they get someone who wants the place in Brooklyn, they stay upstate; when someone wants the place upstate, they stay in Brooklyn. If both places need to get rented out, they camp. And that is how they are able to stay afloat as artists.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:55 PM on March 8, 2014 [10 favorites]


This debate is familiar — mapping onto existing views about the role of government, the potential of disruption, the future of work, etc. As we rehash old fights we’re missing something — something we’ve seen before

The grammar in this piece is horrible. The premise is laughable.
posted by Benway at 7:57 PM on March 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


There may be something to this, though I have my difficulties with the apocalyptic tone. I particularly notice the disconnect between salary and rents, which have gone berserk in the last few years: even in a place as small and comparatively poor as Saskatoon SK, I know two or three people who are paying over 2 grand a month to rent apartments, and not really by choice -- this in a town where the average income is probably around 50K. I know a frightening number of people who pay about 80 to 90% of their income on rent; I know many more who live in single rooms, even though they have good jobs. It's just that if you want to spend less than 1,000 a month and *not* live in a place where your neighbors will try to stab you, you live in the equivalent of an SRO.

I can see us eventually getting back to the conditions of the early 20th century, with families paying most of their income for a single room, with a one toilet shared by everyone in the rooming house.
posted by jrochest at 8:01 PM on March 8, 2014 [9 favorites]


Second of all, so if Air BnB didn't exist, wouldn't their (made-up) situation be even worse?

No, the point of the article is that the market is efficient, and will wring every drop of profit out of you if it can. Being able to rent out your house on something like AirBnb will be baked into the price of rent or the mortgage. That's what he meant by the Red Queen's race, you have to go faster just to stay in place.

I do think this is handwavy and overly relying on theoretical economics without any type of real data that things like AirBnB make inelastically priced goods (housing, etc) higher. The two income trap is pretty good evidence that things like that happen though.

The two-income trap is bogus

Care to say why? Because housing prices seemed to balloon neatly as women entered the workforce. It's economics 101, but I'd be willing to see some proof that the book is full of crap. The most helpful negative review on Amazon, my barometer for crap, just harps on personal responsibility. There is some interesting commentary from libertarian sources that the tax brackets are more responsible than other things (doubling your income puts you in the middle class tax bracket). Is that why you derided it as crap?
posted by zabuni at 8:02 PM on March 8, 2014 [24 favorites]


Oh, and

which are scummy and predatory and represent an attack on an existing, regulated service

sort of describes AirBnB as well.
posted by zabuni at 8:05 PM on March 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


Based on my experience with both taxis and hotels in a variety of cities, I feel safe in saying most are at least as predatory as anything AirBnB or Uber could come up with. There might be an argument to be made against those two things, but that's not it.
posted by emjaybee at 8:17 PM on March 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


The problem with AirBnB isn't for the guests -- it's for the other people renting apartments in the building.
posted by jrochest at 8:23 PM on March 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't get why people call AirBnB or Uber or especially Taskrabbit part of a "sharing economy". Renting your dwelling or car or labor isn't "sharing", it's capitalism.
posted by Small Dollar at 8:23 PM on March 8, 2014 [18 favorites]


Warren and Tyagi empirically demonstrated that dual-income families had less discretionary income in the early 2000s than single-income families had in the early 1970s.

The early 70s is when we started reducing taxes on the wealthy and corporations, shipping jobs overseas, and killing entitlements. That was a political process, not an economic process. The idea that economics is a science unto itself rather than the political process it is has been a fantastic meme trap benefiting the wealthy for some time. The idea that this techno-collaborative-whatever-stuff they are going on about is a cause and not a symptom is a good demonstration of it.
posted by MillMan at 8:30 PM on March 8, 2014 [45 favorites]


Remarkable example of Dystopian Lit. Check out the upper right corner:
"4 min read"
In this post-crash world, medium.com understands that time is precious and wants us to efficiently consume our articles, helpfully classified under "General Writing: Idea, Thinking, Opinion."

This is what "Her" got wrong: the Joaquin Phoenix's of the future won't have jobs as sentimental as writing love letters. They'll be writing Thinking Opinions redefining "safety net" as domestic labor (wonder who that will fall to?) rather than something as distant and utopian as the AFDC.
posted by gorbweaver at 8:48 PM on March 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


Given the level of suffering we've allowed over the last 30 years, sometimes I get the feeling Stanislav Petrov was actually history's greatest monster. God bless America.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:28 PM on March 8, 2014


Organize or die. Hint: the Unions won't be the ones trying to kill you.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:45 PM on March 8, 2014 [15 favorites]


The author might be right to the extent that in a capitalist system, any cost-saving or revenue -boosting strategy ends up getting adopted by lots and lots of people, causing the advantages to flatten out over time. I also get that, in many cases, the freedom to pursue some new strategy (double-income households, longer working hours, shared consumption), coerces other people to adopt the same strategy just to keep up and basically just speeds up the hamster wheel for everyone.

But isn't this true of any innovation? Why do we applaud when it's some new labor-saving gadget but tut-tut when it's just a bunch of normal people who want to share there couch or car or vegetable garden or whatever?

And for pete's sake, isn't the "two income trap" kind of a reactionary framing?
posted by ducky l'orange at 9:54 PM on March 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Well, I think what we're looking at here is that we're rapidly dismantling not just the safety net but the traditional employment structure and while that may be all exciting in a "Woo, smash the system!" kind of way, there's not going to be a lot left standing.

Like the high schools where I grew up were busily dismantling their vo-tech programs because in the future we were all going to be Knowledge Workers doing something in an office, so why even have these boring old Making of Things training courses? Naturally even the increased demand for skilled workers didn't actually bring BACK vo-tech programs once that structure was dismantled, so there was just less access to training for that kind of job. Instead you're now herded relentlessly towards college and all that entails.

I mean the future I'm worried about isn't grinding away in a vast corporate dystopia. The real dystopian future is the one where we're all "independent contractors" fighting each other for pennies for jobs on something like Mechanical Turk or Fiverr where not only are we responsible for our work, we're also responsible for marketing ourselves, handling our taxes and payroll, building new business, and so forth.

We're forcing ourselves into the "sharing economy" because that's what they want us to do, be so focused on pushing our crumbs around our plate that we don't notice who the hell has most of the pie to begin with. Capitalism has monetized compassion and goodwill and trust in a remarkable why. So okay, I dig AirBnB as much as the next yuppie, but what happens to all those hotel and hospitality jobs once we're all couchsurfing across America? How do you even participate in the "sharing economy" if you have no resources you could share?
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:56 PM on March 8, 2014 [57 favorites]


My friend lives in a high cost of living area. He counts himself lucky to have found a small studio in a safe neighborhood only 15 miles from work for $600 per month. (Meanwhile, his parents' mortgage payment in a low cost of living area is less than $800.) My friend gets only 20 hours a week at his federal job, so task rabbit really helps to fill in the gap.

He would like to live in a better area of town, and one idea he has is to rent out a two bedroom apartment in a desirable area, and then air bnb the spare bedroom. This way he could live in a great area without having to pull down a large salary.

He doesn't drive for Uber, though; his car is a piece of shit.
posted by "friend" of a TSA Agent at 10:43 PM on March 8, 2014


And for pete's sake, isn't the "two income trap" kind of a reactionary framing?

I'd have to disagree pretty strongly. If you haven't already read The Two-Income Trap, I'd highly recommend it.

2004 interview with Amelia Tyagi in Mother Jones. From the intro:
Middle-class parents are stretched thin these days. Between health care costs, child care hassles, looking for a home in a good school district, and paying for college, raising a child is becoming increasingly expensive. Little wonder, then, that married couples with children are more than twice as likely to file for bankruptcy as their childless counterparts, and 75 percent more likely to have their homes foreclosed. And the danger is growing worse by the year: In 2002 1.6 million people filed for bankruptcy, many of those middle-class parents. a record. As Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Tyagi note in their book, The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers & Fathers Are Going Broke, having a child is now 'the single best predictor' of bankruptcy.

In the face of such hardships, many families have sent both parents into the workforce to try to make ends meet. After all, surely if both parents work full-time it shouldn't be hard to ensure financial security, right? Wrong, say Warren and Tyagi. Two-income families are almost always worse off than their single-income counterparts were a generation ago, even though they pull in 75 percent more in income. The problem is that so many fixed costs are rising -- health care, child care, finding a good home -- that two-income families today actually have less discretionary money left over than those single-earner families did. As the authors write: "Our data show families in financial trouble are working hard, playing by the rules -- and the game is stacked against them."
MetaFilter thread from May 2008.

Michael Tomasky on the political importance of Elizabeth Warren:
The large and passionate following gained by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is a major development here. Warren is a native of Oklahoma who grew up poor and became a professor at Harvard Law School and then (as leader of congressional oversight on the Troubled Asset Relief Program) a thorn in former Treasury secretary Tim Geithner’s side before she handily defeated incumbent Republican Scott Brown to reach the Senate. She has millions of admirers who would dearly love to see her run for president in 2016, whatever Hillary Clinton’s plans.

Warren possesses a knack for earthy articulation of the liberal-populist worldview matched by no one else in American public life today. Videos of her speaking to supporters and donors, or decimating slow-witted cable hosts, go “viral” and get millions of views from liberals who’ve been desperate for years to hear a prominent Democrat talk the way she does.
posted by russilwvong at 11:20 PM on March 8, 2014 [27 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: And that is how they are able to stay afloat as artists.

Kind of sucks they can't just sell their art. I know a small handful of visual artists making a living selling their works without having to resort to routes such as advertising. The rest of the full-time, "I'll never sell out, never ever NEVER EVEEEEEEER" artists I know enjoy the ancient, elusive magical blessing known in most circles as a 'trust fund'.
posted by item at 11:23 PM on March 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


And for pete's sake, isn't the "two income trap" kind of a reactionary framing?

I'd have to disagree pretty strongly.

It's certainly anti-worker and anti-middle class. It's a nice sleight of hand to imply "the increased supply of labor suppressed wages" because again, it reframes the issue away from politics and thus the idea that this is something the public can control. The only question that matters: what percentage of a worker's productivity goes to the worker? Since 1970 the percentage has been dropping.

That chart is a succinct summary of the rise new robber barron class and the death of the middle class. There are a lot of ways to describe the awesome propaganda victory that keeps workers from asking what percentage of their productivity they deserve, but its complete absence from public discourse is probably the best demonstration.
posted by MillMan at 11:47 PM on March 8, 2014 [29 favorites]


Middle class couples with kids do not use Airbnb.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:05 AM on March 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


And in NYC at least, making your nut from AirBnB could get you evicted. Among the other ways these companies are parasites is that they ask their broker/agents to skirt the law. Hotels have fire safety rules, for example, that are different from apartments. Your AirBnB guest is using more collective resources (the laundry room with 2 machines, say), etc.

My view is that liability will one day come home to roost for AirBnB. It's an open invitation to a serial killer or rapist too. Come on in!

This isn't sharing. It's selling the silver to pay for daddy's new wooden leg.
posted by spitbull at 12:26 AM on March 9, 2014 [12 favorites]


Oh and of course they suck tax revenue out of the public sector.
posted by spitbull at 3:49 AM on March 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Umm, poverty is created by rich people accumulating even more wealth, not by ordinary people living more efficiently through technology, collaborative consumption, etc.

Now our middle class obviously prefers to tighten their belt rather than rock the boat. Imho, we should not try to defend a middle class that won't defend itself, maybe they're just culturally unsustainable. Instead, we should focus on making the lower classes culturally mobile into the other group, which may involve breaking out the guillotines.

I've thought a good bit about "What makes a corporation, product, etc. moral?" because I'm abandoning academia for the tech sector this year. I'd love to future guillotine builder by developing user-friendly cryptographic software to, but open-source software requires another revenue stream, much like academia, and closed-source cryptographic software is evil. What else? Isn't anything that helps save labor, eliminate jobs, etc. intrinsically a moral endeavor? A priori yes, but ideally one should focus on eliminating wasteful control jobs, like management, administration, finance, etc.

Also, AirBnB aren't too problematic as potential exploiters because they could easily be replaced by more moral services like craigslist, freecycle, and couchsurfing's successors, like BeWelcome. I'm happy with the "social traveling" so I'd stick with BeWelcome or Hostels.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:13 AM on March 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Russilwvong, thanks for the links. I think I got a little off the mark in my last post.
posted by ducky l'orange at 4:21 AM on March 9, 2014


we're also responsible for marketing ourselves, handling our taxes and payroll, building new business, and so forth.

I think the idea is you contract out the bits you hate.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 6:51 AM on March 9, 2014


I wonder if couples these days are more dependent on two incomes partly because in a free-market economy we're under a huge amount of pressure both implicit and explicit to spend and to consume.

It takes more money to earn money. People judge you on the shoes you wear, the organizations you join to network, the vacations you take, the private school your kids attend, and the smartphone you use. That all costs money -- let alone the car you drive, and the house you live in. Factor in prices to maintain necessities such as heating, insurance, and taxes, you can be broke trying to be upwardly mobile.

I see this all the time. People go to universities they can't afford but get a great-paying job but in order to be able to play the game, they end up more broke than people earning half their wages because the system is set up to whack you one way or another.

These aren't extravagant people but people stuck in the same reality where both rich and poor want to pretend they know something and judge and dismiss anyone who steps one inch away from what they think is "normal."

And instead of telling people to go jump in a lake, they dutifully comply, and then go rent their homes to strangers just so other strangers don't think they are freaks.

There is nothing wrong with a two-income home, but there is something seriously wrong when people use that as a reason to judge you as defective while others decide to judge you as defective because you drive a cheap car. Same stratagem, different approach.

When people stop looking for a made-up reason to look down on others, that's when anything can truly change.

That is a reason I do not care what people think about me -- there is always an angle and a catch with my wallet as their primary target...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 6:54 AM on March 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


Kind of sucks they can't just sell their art. I know a small handful of visual artists making a living selling their works without having to resort to routes such as advertising. The rest of the full-time, "I'll never sell out, never ever NEVER EVEEEEEEER" artists I know enjoy the ancient, elusive magical blessing known in most circles as a 'trust fund'.

Almost all of the artists I know support themselves with either an employed spouse, having a second job themselves, or by teaching.

Now our middle class obviously prefers to tighten their belt rather than rock the boat. Imho, we should not try to defend a middle class that won't defend itself, maybe they're just culturally unsustainable.

It's less "prefers" and more "is correctly understanding how the deck is stacked against that kind of mobilization." Another side of the two income trap (or the AirBnB trap) is that the risk/reward ratio of even low level political activism goes way down and people correctly, and intelligently, figure out it makes more sense to hunker down and survive.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:55 AM on March 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


We should not ask "people [to] stop looking for a made-up reason to look down on others", that's impossible. We could however make conspicuous consumption even more useless, making efficient usage of resources more painless, provide more valid judgment options, etc.

There is already no valid career reason to drive an expensive car, own an expensive house, etc., Alexandra Kitty. All that shit comes a pretty distant second to doing good work, delivering it on time, and being likable, well unless you're doing a social control job that should not exist anyways, and usually even then.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:12 AM on March 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


The longer I live, the more I think Idiocracy will turn out to be a prescient documentary.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:24 AM on March 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Kind of sucks they can't just sell their art.

Yeah, it does, but their landlord will not accept their grumbles or their artwork as payment, so what else are they gonna do?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:47 AM on March 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I think the idea is you contract out the bits you hate.

But if you can't afford to pay someone to market you, then you can't contract that out - and you're stuck trying to market yourself, which you can't do because you don't know how, so you do a piss-poor job at it and you don't get much money as a result, because you can't market yourself, and if you don't get much money you can't afford to pay someone to market you so you're still stuck doing it for yourself and....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:49 AM on March 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


The most powerful observation made by Warren and her daughter was that the supply of houses in good school districts is virtually fixed, which guarantees that much increased household income of the people who want those houses can be consumed by an increase in their price.

Given that it was Warren though, she wasn't willing to follow through on that with a policy prescription for vouchers, which could enable people to buy cheaper houses in not-good districts as long as there was a critical mass of parents who could organize a comparably good private school for their kids.
posted by MattD at 8:13 AM on March 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


as long as there was a critical mass of parents who could organize a comparably good private school for their kids.

This is the piece that is totally nonscalable, FYI.
posted by PMdixon at 8:28 AM on March 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


I get that the extra money you can make renting out a room in your house can end up reflected in its price -- so that the same house will become more expensive precisely because it can be more profitable to its owner. Then, an owner who doesn't want to put that room to that use has to be ready to pay more with no offsetting income.

But there's the other half of the equation at work, too: renting a room in a house like that should become cheaper, as more rooms will come onto the market through the new system. So long as the intermediary doesn't take too large a cut, whatever surplus is generated gets split between people now able to transact who couldn't transact before.
posted by zittrain at 8:31 AM on March 9, 2014


The market cannot, will not, never has, and never will fix any problems without societal will and goals.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:57 AM on March 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


Almost all of the artists I know support themselves with...an employed spouse

This is a very interesting use of the phrase, "support themselves".
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:19 AM on March 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


ducky l'orange: Russilwvong, thanks for the links. I think I got a little off the mark in my last post.

No problem! Like I said, I'd highly recommend Warren and Tyagi's book--it should really be better known. Mark Egerman used to work at CFPB, which Warren proposed and helped to set up.

MillMan: you may be interested in the technocratic debate going on in Canada about how to boost median household income (and collect more taxes from the top). It's a big political issue at the moment: things here aren't as bad as in the US, but the rising cost of housing and post-secondary education are still putting a squeeze on median-income families. (The last article suggests that you can't save for post-secondary education and retirement at the same time, for example.)

Jared Bernstein on labor's falling share of income in the US. The graph in Bernstein's article doesn't match the one you posted. Not sure why not--maybe it has something to do with only looking at "major sector productivity"? Productivity in manufacturing has been rising much more rapidly than in the economy as a whole.
posted by russilwvong at 9:49 AM on March 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


What happens to our financial safety net when we are already renting out our couches, giving rides after work, and running tasks on the weekends just to stay afloat?

Uh…sex work?
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 9:52 AM on March 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ghostride, I had never heard of Fiverr before... you have thoroughly depressed me, as now I see the true worth of my skillset... the free market has spoken.
posted by Stu-Pendous at 10:05 AM on March 9, 2014


Loss of manufacturing jobs is the common thread, no? We've traded jobs - and all the societal benefits that come with them - for (arguably) lower prices and increased profits for the few.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:06 AM on March 9, 2014


One thing I was thinking about reading the article: It's already the case that poor people, especially women, augment their primary incomes (if they have them) with numerous side jobs - doing hair, cooking, childcare, etc. Now, as pointed out in the article, it's increasingly common for people we would think of as "middle class" to do so as well.

This seems to mirror the two income "trap" phenomenon he talks about: I'm sure it was much more common for poor women to work outside of the home long before it was common for middle class women to work outside the home. With time (and the march of capitalism*) it became as common for middle class women too.

So part of what I'm thinking about here is that those of us who consider ourselves middle class, or who grew up in middle class families, are functionally being forced to behave the way poorer people do. So the net impact is that there is effectively an even wider gap between the rich and the rest of us.


*And also with WWII and feminism and the Civil Rights Movement and numerous other sociopolitical developments, but I think it's interesting to look at just the pressures of capitalism for a minute.
posted by latkes at 10:36 AM on March 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


I had never heard of Fiverr before... you have thoroughly depressed me, as now I see the true worth of my skillset...
...which is interesting, because I first heard of Fiverr on AskMe, and I do some freelancing over there. It's not perfect, but as someone who's looking to transition into copywriting it's allowed me to put together a portfolio for better, paid work. Granted, it's also full of scam artists, but you get what you pay for.
posted by pxe2000 at 11:47 AM on March 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


russilwvong:

The graph in Bernstein's article doesn't match the one you posted. Not sure why not--maybe it has something to do with only looking at "major sector productivity"?

Both of the items in the chart you posted are worker related - I believe the top line includes benefits that don't accrue as actual money but have financial value like health insurance, life insurance, and stock options. A measure of productivity (the steadily rising item on the chart I posted) isn't in there.
posted by MillMan at 12:01 PM on March 9, 2014


The problem is that so many fixed costs are rising -- health care, child care, finding a good home -- that two-income families today actually have less discretionary money left over than those single-earner families did. As the authors write: "Our data show families in financial trouble are working hard, playing by the rules -- and the game is stacked against them"

I still don't get why the 'trap' was actually a trap: it seems to me that two income families didn't cause increases in fixed-cost prices, except possibly in cases like the semi-fixed supply of housing for good schools. For example, increases in university costs have little or nothing to do with the rise of two income families, and rather more to do with the removal of state support for university activities alongside ballooning costs due to legal requirements.

It's more a case of everyone getting screwed, but the families with kids are significantly more at risk.
posted by kaibutsu at 1:38 PM on March 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


housing prices seemed to balloon neatly as women entered the workforce.

People say this in the UK as well, but actually here it's since borrowing regulations were relaxed, and so people started massively over-extending themselves to take a gamble on buy-to-let. The whole thing relied on credit, and we all know what's happened to credit.

With Thatcher, Council Housing entered the buying chain at the bottom taking low-cost stable tenancies and associated legislation off the table for many. The housing stock hasn't been adequately renewed, there's a housing shortage, a credit squeeze and a squeeze on wages, and all other costs are going up. Well, for ordinary people. I really can't see women entering the workforce has had much to do with the global financial crisis, except perhaps to mitigate its effects in certain (fortunate, enlightened) countries.
posted by glasseyes at 1:47 PM on March 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


It only became socially acceptable to work outside the home when we started needing the money. Before that, it was only poor women who worked. I think Mrs. Warren and her daughter have their cause-and-effect backwards. I see similarities with AirBnB and Uber. This is only gaining in popularity because people need the money. You don't take in lodgers just because.
posted by domo at 2:28 PM on March 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think the relationship between the sharing economy and the two-income trap is useful, but it doesn't explain everything. A household where one person brings in income and the other works the home is, in fact, a type of sharing economy.

Sharing is a useful way of working around some of the immediate financial limits we have. However, it is no substitute for political organizing. However, as the coordination of sharing does require someone to manage the trust relationships (a manager, the web-builder), it is always at risk of being monetized at some point.

I think that if more people understood cooperation as economically beneficial, we'd have a more productive and humane economy. Unfortunately, effective management of cooperatives include skills that corporations would also pay a dear wage for.
posted by john wilkins at 2:33 PM on March 9, 2014


I love Elizabeth Warren, but her analysis of the two-income trap is drawn from evidence of increased precarity (as signaled by bankruptcies, which are both very severe and pretty rare) not the claim that is frequently attributed to her that the middle class is literally worse off than in the 1970s. She has allowed herself to be appropriated by those who like the anti-progress story, but that story is just not born out by the facts. Everything depends on what we mean by "dissolution" or "collapse" of a class:

The Middle Class is Losing the Race for Second Place:
We are seeing a dissolution of the middle class, and this often seems a tragedy. When Warren is less careful, she calls it a "coming collapse" and puts it like this:

“A middle class where people are falling out and into poverty is a middle class that has less room to bring people up and out of poverty.”

That's probably not true. Data going back to 1970 indicates that more people are failing to remain in the middle class due to wealth than due to poverty:

"The entire reason the middle class has “shrunk” is that more households today have incomes that put them above middle class. That’s right, the share of households with income that puts them in the middle class or higher was 76 percent in 1970 and 75 percent in 2010—two figures that are statistically indistinguishable."

As Third Way put it in 2007:

"The bottom line is that the middle class is shrinking but not because the bottom is dropping out; it is because more people are better off."

Now, let’s be clear: the two middle quintiles of income will always be populated by 40% of the population, so in some sense there will always be a “middle.” But increasingly this group will not be a class.

Alan Kreuger defines the middle class “as having a household income at least half of median income but no more than 1.5 times the median.” And the incomes statistics suggest that it is increasingly difficult to tread water this close to the median income: either you sink below it, or you rocket above it. But compared to 1970, more people are rocketing above it than sinking below it. (As Warren points out, this is largely a matter of women in the workforce: a couple with two incomes is too rich for the middle-class, and couples and single folks with only one income are too poor for it.)
In that specific sense, the two-income household is not trapped; they've merely put the upper-middle class out of reach of most singles, and they've ended up spending more of their incomes than they probably would like on competitive goods like housing in good school districts. The same thing could happen to AirBNB hosts, but that requires that we keep tricking ourselves into thinking that more money spent on more exclusive schools is always the best option.
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:00 PM on March 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


I can see the concern about services like Uber, which are scummy and predatory and represent an attack on an existing, regulated service in taxis.

Can you show your work on this one? Uber(by which i assume you mean UberX, not the black towncar service which are just normal licensed taxis simply connected to a smartphone app), and to a lesser extent lyft and sidecar and such get slagged on a lot.

Taxi companies suck in a multitude of ways in a lot of cities, and these services have proven that higher quality in every way service can be provided for less money. Sometimes like, 50% less. The only thing predatory about it is that it's fucking over the cab companies, which as far as i'm concerned is like fucking over comcast or something.

sort of describes AirBnB as well.

As far as attacks on or arguments against airbnb go, this strikes me as pretty weak. This is like getting mad at craigslist for letting sex workers advertise on casual encounters using coded terms. Just seems like an example of someone abusing the system to me, not the system being broken or inherently evil. "Some guy abused this system horribly, and was a pompous dick who also treated his employees like crap, therefor airbnb sucks!" seems to be at least one way you can read that article. And that's just like, laughably dumb. It's like saying an entire franchise is crap because you went to one specific location that was poorly run and not meeting standards.

I don't know, i just think it's really dumb, especially with the carshare services, how they've become a sort of lightning rod to slag on during any discussion of how Shit is Hard Out There Now Man.

I've had interesting conversations with multiple Lyft drivers about why they do it, and how they ended up doing it. I think the most relevant one was an older woman who got laid off from some midlevel big corporate job, and couldn't really find another one that was remotely comparable because she was in her late 50s or so. Owned her place, so she just needed some money to keep living her life. Now she drives drunk kids home on weekends and makes a decent amount of cash while also having lots of time off.

I think people need to stop looking at this kind of thing as some sort of disease, or symptom of a horrible disease, and realize it's just efficient organized freelancing. Like craigslist and ebay did for people who have things and people who want those physical things, it's connecting people who want a service with people who can provide that service. I just wish i could figure out why it makes people so damn uncomfortable.

And yea, i'm aware there's lots to get into with airbnb with relation to the other people in buildings, especially when the person renting out their place is renting that place themselves(and shady shit like toshi hotel)... but throwing the whole thing in the garbage because some people abuse it is dumb.
posted by emptythought at 3:59 PM on March 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Second of all, so if Air BnB didn't exist, wouldn't their (made-up) situation be even worse? I can see the concern about services like Uber, which are scummy and predatory and represent an attack on an existing, regulated service in taxis. But otherwise I don't see how this makes sense even a little.

As a resident of NYC, I can inform you that at least here, though by my understanding this applies in many areas, taxis are not regulated for the benefit of the residents. They are not even regulated for the benefit of taxi drivers. They are regulated for the benefit of medallion holders. It's nasty useless rent-seeking capitalism. Also happens to hold significant amounts of de Blasio stock.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:07 PM on March 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


When Lyft, Sidecar and Uber war against fixed-number-of-medallion rent-extraction price-fixing crappy-or-no-service-guaranteed regimes, I am 100% on their side. (When Uber demand pricing wars on knee jerk low IQ socialism, I am especially delighted.) When they war against reasonable livery car safety inspection, driver certification, and insurance regimes, I am 100% against them.
posted by MattD at 4:17 PM on March 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


@ MattD: plus 1000.
posted by Mr. Justice at 5:54 PM on March 9, 2014


When the working parent was laid off, or became sick, the stay-at-home parent could take in additional work at home, or could enter the workforce.

I've heard this a lot, but it really doesn't make sense -- how easy is it really for someone who has been out of the workforce for years to find extra work that even comes close to replacing the income of the parent who has been keeping up their skills and connections?

It looks like what happened is that Elizabeth Warren wrote a book about the shrinking middle class at a time when anti-women's-rights backlash books were big sellers and her publisher chose a title accordingly.
posted by Ralston McTodd at 6:03 PM on March 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've had interesting conversations with multiple Lyft drivers about why they do it, and how they ended up doing it. I think the most relevant one was an older woman who got laid off from some midlevel big corporate job, and couldn't really find another one that was remotely comparable because she was in her late 50s or so. Owned her place, so she just needed some money to keep living her life. Now she drives drunk kids home on weekends and makes a decent amount of cash while also having lots of time off.

Ha ha! And you interpret this as a positive story about Lyft?

First of all, she's laid off. Second of all, she can't find work because she is middle aged and female. While that part of the anecdote alone is enough to point to how fucked up our current economic system is, the woman is stuck driving drunk 20somethings home all weekend? Sounds fucking delightful!

I have a friend who drove for a local version of Lyft. It sucked. Like your driver, she previously worked in a professional field where she had made a good wage, with benefits, but like your driver had been laid off, and like your driver, couldn't find a comparable job very likely because she is middle aged and female. Being a driver provided no benefits, no sick pay, no workers comp. Her pay was unreliable and bad. Her body was sore every night - can you imagine driving for 5 hours straight, over and over again? Plus the cost of wear and tear (and gas) on her car was directly paid by her. Of course, if she got a flat, she didn't get paid while she delt with that. Lyft is not a good alternative to a physically non-taxing career with benefits.

Do you think your Lyft driver is likely to tell you how much their jobs suck? You are the customer. It would be a rare person who would break down how fucked up the system is to the customer.
posted by latkes at 6:48 PM on March 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't really get why many of the comments here seem to read the article as blaming people who participate in these new economic models. To me, it's just describing that, when people pick up this kind of work (or previously, when women entered the workforce), what follows is more economic insecurity.

It seems to me people pick up this kind of work because they have little choice.
posted by latkes at 6:50 PM on March 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Do you think your Lyft driver is likely to tell you how much their jobs suck? You are the customer. It would be a rare person who would break down how fucked up the system is to the customer.

As a counterpoint, it's not like they have some boss to worry about firing them or some greater reason not to. Several of the drivers i've talked to seemed to be willing to get pretty real with it and talk about crappy experiences they've had(like one of the lyft employees giving them a ton of crap about a crack in their bumper that someone else put there while their car was parked and a tiny chip at the very edge of their windshield, for example. and some story i can't quite remember the details of involving the generally overworked/hard to contact and obtuse nature of the company itself that's spread thin).

Nothing i said was refuting or challenging anything you said, my point was more that if you rewound time and just deleted lyft and similar services from existence these people would be walmart greeters or still unemployed. I never said it was equivalent, or that it offers the same pay, benefits, or lack of downsides.

It's a job, and it's better than a lot of the other options available to quite a few people. and the plusses that were brought up to me are that you can pick it up and put it down whenever you want, and work it in around your schedule however you want. You're not beholden to ridiculous requirements a lot of low wage jobs you can drop in to from that type of position of having completely open availability and constantly working asinine swing shifts since they treat all employees as faceless cogs with no life. Can't work until 2am, then come back again at 8am back to back? too bad kind of BS.

Everyone i've talked to about the pay said it averaged well above what you'd make at some minimum wage job, even when you factored in gas or setting aside money for random car maintenance and issues. It's definitely ahead of pizza delivery on that front without a lot of the downsides of that.

Lyft is not a good alternative to a physically non-taxing career with benefits.

Is essentially a straw man. The New Reality™ is that the good old jobs people like her are being let go from don't exist, and we're not able to magically push a button and recreate them. The alternatives are essentially the kind of terrible retail jobs i mentioned, possibly temping, and now this.

The greater pay than some totally crap minimum wage job, and flexible hours are huge bonuses to a lot of people. Playing the long game on whether it's really worth it when you factor in the issues of wear and potentially being knocked out of the game because of a flat or breakdown isn't really a luxury of future planning most people are giving themselves or even really thinking about.

Nowhere was i saying this was perfect, or was a slot in replacement for the jobs people used to have. But the way several drivers presented it to me was that they were fucked, and this floated up as the best option pay wise and with relation to other jobs requiring physical labor they weren't willing or able to do.

Like airbnb, i think it's filling a gap for people who would otherwise be boned if it didn't exist. You could make a very similar argument that airbnb is a crappy solution because people are losing their jobs and would otherwise default on their condos/houses or get evicted from their apartments, but on the flip side it's allowing them to keep their heads above water without having to take a REALLY shitty job or making a really crappy compromise that would be an even darker path.

Yea, in both cases i get that the real solution should be that these people should be getting paid enough to afford what they need to at a proper job comparable to what they had before, but barring the ability to do that... isn't it nice to at least have the damn option?
posted by emptythought at 7:35 PM on March 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is what a job in the U.S.’ new manufacturing industry looks like, Lydia DePillis, The Washington Post Wonkblog, 09 March 2014
posted by ob1quixote at 7:45 PM on March 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


The New Reality™ is that the good old jobs people like her are being let go from don't exist, and we're not able to magically push a button and recreate them. The alternatives are essentially the kind of terrible retail jobs i mentioned, possibly temping, and now this.

What I'm wondering about in your comments is the sort of shrugging, "Well, they'd be doing some other crap job, so may as well do this" attitude, as if the economic system is just a force of god that no one is responsible for.

To me, the people who are starting these companies that capitalise every aspect of our lives have some culpability here. Not only are they creating shitty jobs, but they are also contributing, from a position of power not powerlessness, to an overall shift in the economy toward the negative. Local governments are complicit when they fail to regulate these new companies and take into account the real impact of a shift in the economy in this direction. The people who really run the economy have a role in deciding policy, where investment money gets sent, etc, all of which controls what kinds of jobs are available to us (or whether we need to have jobs at all).

I think it's kind of sad to look at a company like Lyft and say, "Well, sure they might suck, but that's life! Thank god you're not starving in the street!"
posted by latkes at 7:46 PM on March 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


So, latkes, what do YOU suggest the recently-fired or unemployed do in the meantime while waiting for society to get on the ball?

No one is disagreeing with you about the sorry state of the economy, but people do need to eat and pay rent in the short term still. How do you propose they do?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:55 PM on March 9, 2014


But I don't think any of this is the fault of the recently fired or unemployed - nor do I think the linked article says it is their fault. Neither the author nor myself suggest that people should not work for Lyft or rent out their rooms on AirBnB. We all have to do what we can to feed our families. We have to work because our system demands we do or we starve. As long as you're not placing land mines or marketing cigarettes or whatever, I'm not begrudging anyone working.

However, there are people who should do something, such as the people who start these startups, local governments who make regulatory decisions, bankers, investors, members of the federal government, etc.

And the only way they will do anything is if we apply pressure to at minimum, regulate these industries. (Or, in my personal ideal world, provide a universal minimum wage, provide all basic health and education services, heavily tax the rich, etc, which would eliminate the need for middle aged women to drive drunk 20 year olds around all night.)
posted by latkes at 8:20 PM on March 9, 2014


And also I personally hesitate to support a company like Lyft as a customer, after thinking about the impact this sort of shift in the economy may be having.
posted by latkes at 8:23 PM on March 9, 2014


Alexandra Kitty: "People judge you on the shoes you wear, the organizations you join to network, the vacations you take, the private school your kids attend, and the smartphone you use."

They can only do that if you let them. I don't play that game, and I say "GTFO" to anyone if I even get a whiff of them acting that way. I'm not like most, though, I will agree. (I still laugh at them as much, if not more, than they laugh at me.)
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 8:31 PM on March 9, 2014


as if the economic system is just a force of god that no one is responsible for.

You really think someone's in control, don't you? No one is in control.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 9:14 PM on March 9, 2014


A local (Pittsburgh) blogger did a series of posts discussing Lyft's skirting of regulations, how the company has been embraced by local officials, and what all of it means for the city's residents, and society in general:

Pittsburgh Lyft: Yellow Cabs, White Jitneys, Gray Areas

Lyft says they're not a taxi company. I believe them.

Lyft, BRT, BikeShare: Transit and Regionalism in the Sharing Economy

These posts will probably be of most interest to Pittsburgh locals, but they also touch on some of the themes of the Medium piece, as well as some of the commentary here. I don't agree with all of the points made in these posts, but they certainly do raise some of the questions we need to be asking as we decide how much we want to regulate these services.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:42 PM on March 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


save alive nothing that breatheth: “You really think someone's in control, don't you? No one is in control.”
Indeed. The fact remains however that our current economic arrangements are intentional.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:46 PM on March 9, 2014


You really think someone's in control, don't you? No one is in control.

Is that supposed to sound like the exact opposite of 'wake up sheeple'?

Because it sure sounds like you're trying to sell something there. If it's the idea that neoliberal economics cannot, nay must not, be questioned; that money and greed are forces of nature that cannot, nay must not, be constrained by mere human laws; that verily if people are suffering it's probably their own fault because hey, if they're so smart than why aren't they rich... well, at this point some of us might take a little more convincing.

But perhaps I'm missing some subtleties in your argument.
posted by hap_hazard at 12:01 AM on March 10, 2014


What I'm wondering about in your comments is the sort of shrugging, "Well, they'd be doing some other crap job, so may as well do this" attitude, as if the economic system is just a force of god that no one is responsible for.
... I think it's kind of sad to look at a company like Lyft and say, "Well, sure they might suck, but that's life! Thank god you're not starving in the street!"

Yea, and i'm not saying this. Nor am i saying that the economy is some sort of force of nature. I am also not some libertarian who thinks "let the god of the free market sort them out".

I mean, if you got that from my post then... ok. But yea, that's not what i'm getting at.

I'm just saying that if you have to shovel shit in the trenches, then having more options of what shit you'll be shoveling, with what kind of shovel, and where is a good thing. There are a lot of positives to these sorts of "community mesh network" contracting-type gigs that you normally do not get at the very "entry level" of the system where you need nothing but the tools to do the job, not some kind of specialized knowledge to get contracting gigs even if you're just nailing lumber together or something. You also don't need to be physically fit or even fully able.

I didn't want to come off as saying too strongly that they don't suck since i thought i'd get broadsided for that, which explains my tentative and passive sort of message.

My point is, i guess, i don't think these companies are a disease. I think they're a symptom or more neutrally even, a marker or warning sign that the disease is serious and really starting to effect the life of society.

Pretty much hate the game, not the player. Lyft and such are just a buzzword talking point and the latest hot thing to shit on, not the real root of the issue here.

And latkes, to be clear, i am for the things you are for in your quote about universal minimum income, etc. I just think that you can't poop on these companies without implicitly saying "People should not have these opportunities to work". I also want to make it clear that i'm not just armchair quarterbacking this from a position of total privilege here, i was within the past couple years in the heart of the recession unemployed for nearly 1.5 years. Good times. I would have cried with joy if driving some fuckers around was a job i could just walk into at the time.

And i mean maybe i'm getting overly local here, but my city(and several others) ideas of regulating lyft and airbnb basically came to a vote of "ban it 100% and make it fully illegal" or "leave it alone" there was no "form a committee to set up logical regulations, etc" reasonable person option. So yea, my opinion may be a bit biased and i want to be open to that. So yea, i think some reflection is necessary on whether hating the companies and being against them = wanting to deny those people the opportunity to make income. Because a lot of times that is the logical conclusion of that speeding train of thought.
posted by emptythought at 12:18 AM on March 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I dunno from neoliberal economics. Alls I know is I literally work a stone's throw from where they purportedly run everything and let me tell you no one is in charge around here. Not everything goes the way they want, either, nor do "they" all want the same thing.

More broadly, I don't know if a person has free will but I don't think people do at all.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 12:18 AM on March 10, 2014


Taxi companies suck in a multitude of ways in a lot of cities, and these services have proven that higher quality in every way service can be provided for less money. Sometimes like, 50% less.

Accessibility. Not that cabs do a fantastic job of being wheelchair accessible, but there *is* an accessible cab fleet in most major cities in the US. Uber and Lyft and so forth have only just now said anything about accessibility, and even that has been limited to, "oh, uh, yeah, I guess we should think about that now? Maybe?" with no promises about what that will mean or when it will happen.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 1:08 AM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


While that's a good point, i think comparing the two is like comparing land-line and mobile telephone service. You can still get a land line, and you will be able to for the forseeable future. It's absolutely critical for certain people, and the price of it has actually gone down not up as its popularity has dwindled to all but the people who really need it for the most part. The infrastructure is there, established, and doesn't need to be rebuilt or anything.

VOIP also showed up as a potential replacement, but still has teething issues for various reasons. I imagine that someone will plug that hole with this taxi Vs rideshare service thing as well if they can see a niche to jam into.

Taxis are hand hailable, taxis take cash right from you, taxis are allowed to wait for fares in specific designated parking spaces in nightlife parts of town, and around bus stations/the airport/etc. And yes, the wheelchair vans.

People are successfully running companies that do nothing but pick up take out food from restaurants that don't deliver and bring it to your house/office/etc. Picking up people outside the airport, accessible vans, and being flagged down is not some tiny sliver of business that will drive taxi companies out of existence. That's a gigantic chunk of market share and potential market share right there.

Even if all these services do is force cab companies to lower their rates a bit, and design decent apps like even the towncar services have much less the rideshare stuff, it will still be a huge improvement. But i honestly have crocodile tears for them.

It's also worth noting, and i've actually be around for this when a former coworkers personal accessible van broke down, that even in a major city with a decent sized wheelchair van cab fleet... the wait time is horrendous. I mean the wait time for regular cabs is usually ~30 min whereas lyft, uber, etc manage under 10 and sometimes even under 5 even at busy times, the wheelchair van was basically an hour even in a fairly major part of town. On like a tuesday, at like 4pm at the latest when it should just be chirping crickets hour. Even if those services aren't doing it yet, they could half ass it and still be competitive with that.

I'll give it a rest though, i think we're getting kinda far afield on this one.
posted by emptythought at 2:19 AM on March 10, 2014


I just think that you can't poop on these companies without implicitly saying "People should not have these opportunities to work".

But why in the holy fuck not? Is that a valid defense of anything- is it OK for Amazon to broil their warehouse workers alive because hey at least it's a paycheck? And this is different... because come on, it's not an actual job, it's more like a hobby? Like in the video in the first link... "You can rent out anything, or anyone! Isn't that like prostitution? Not when it's from a cute website!"

Like that makes it OK, that apparently everyone takes it for granted that if they don't have a 60-hour-a-week job- ooh I wish! - or maybe even if they do- they have to 'moonlight.' And probably 'take in boarders.' And then of course we're also 'taking in washing', sure... just to make ends meet.

Except now we get to pay 20% of the take to some bro-terpreneur on the fucking internet, but yay, at least we won't starve this month! But it's a mistake to think ill of the people who've created an economy where this kind of stuff seems natural, because they're not technically conspirators, it just tends to work out in their favor somehow. And of course the guys who are taking that 20% (plus mining the information or whatever their actual profit mechanism is) are OK because they're 'job creators' or something like that.

Of course I'm not saying that I don't want people to be able to work as a pretend cab driver, or semi-amateur inkeeper, or a taskrabbit maid, or as an Amazon warehouse droid, or on the corner in the crack game or whatever they feel like they have to do. I just wish we all had better options. Which probably makes me a crank and this an intemperate rant. Oh well.
posted by hap_hazard at 2:22 AM on March 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


He would like to live in a better area of town, and one idea he has is to rent out a two bedroom apartment in a desirable area, and then air bnb the spare bedroom. This way he could live in a great area without having to pull down a large salary.

I think this is a great example of Air BnB further separating haves and have nots. For this to work, he has to have a large enough income, or have a guarantor, to let him rent a two bedroom apartment on his own. And then there's one more two bedroom off the market for a family that really couldn't live in a studio, and prices pushed up for all of them.

Similarly, the artists mentioned by EmpressCallipygos have to be able to afford two homes to be able to rent out both or either, and have the flexibility and camping gear to camp. Most of the people I know who use AirBnB to make money are able to do so because they can stay at a partner's or parents. This is all capital, social and physical.

He doesn't drive for Uber, though; his car is a piece of shit.

This illustrates this even further, and how very thin the margin is between haves and have nots, and how many different axes it splits along. Being a driver for Uber or Lyft isn't egalitarian, you have to already have or have access to a quality car.

To me this is all an extension of the internship economy. If you can't work for free, you can't get ahead. If you don't already have some form of capital, you can't make more. And no, the individuals making the best of what they've got are not to blame, but they are still part of making things worse for those who cannot (like the college grads taking minimum wage jobs - because they are desperate - and pushing less credentialed people out of even those jobs).

This is a sick system and Air BnB and Lyft and Uber are symptoms but they also contribute to the problem.
posted by Salamandrous at 9:11 AM on March 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I don't buy any of these (Uber, Air BnB, etc.) as root causes for the current economic decline of, well, all Americans who aren't millionaires+ - they're more the parasitic version of the canary in a coal mine.
posted by stenseng at 12:22 PM on March 10, 2014


The part I like is where everybody ends up eating their relatives mashed up like cat food - What? WHOOPS I'm sorry SPOILERZ!!
posted by newdaddy at 8:37 PM on March 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


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