On Thursday, Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (FDO) reported a sharp drop in profits, and said they would close 370 stores. When people can’t afford to shop at Sears anymore, they go to Walmart. When they can’t afford Walmart, the go to Family Dollar. But what is the next step down? Family Dumpster.
Now that the multinationals have off-shored the American middle class, the big question is: can they devise a way to monetize dumpster diving. Perhaps they can. I notice that dumpsters are no longer left unattended out back. Now they are enclosed in brick buildings. Maybe during the small hours of the morning, a sales rep from Family Dumpster could open the buildings and charge homeless people a fee to spelunk the dumpsters. I can hear the greeters now: “Welcome to Family Dumpster!”
But seriously, people who have been expelled from the capitalist economy against their will have another option: sharing. For example, if you have no job, but own a house, you can now generate income with the help of Airbnb.com. There are now such companies for sharing every conceivable thing from baby clothes to cars. And they are growing. Fast. And taking market share from capitalist incumbents.
An Airbnb IPO would probably see the company with a market-cap larger than Hyatt Hotels (H). And it would be poetic justice. As I reported in my book, companies like Hyatt are notorious for breaking unions, firing American workers, and replacing them with desperate immigrants at minimum wage – and then working those immigrants like Alaskan sled dogs. Now, former hotel workers are striking back and taking market share via Airbnb.
Ladies and Gentlemen. What we are seeing is nothing less than the suicide of capitalism. And let the record show that the American people did not turn their back on capitalism. It was international capitalists who turned their back on the American people. Turns out, allowing a fat, drunken, incompetent (David Rockefeller) to design the global economic system wasn’t such a good idea after all. Who knew?
Note: Here are some more sharing companies: Couchsurfing, RelayRides, Getaround, Liquid, Lending Club, Fon, SideCar, Poshmark, Neighborgoods.