As the U.S. election looms, certain parties are making a new push for a less capitalist America -- the kind of place where 20- and 30-somethings no longer have to sell a kidney to live, eat, and pay a doctor look at their gaping kidney holes. But those idealists are fools, fools. Don't they know that the uber-capitalists of Silicon Valley are already finding ways to fix all those problems? In fact, one startup has already solved the housing crisis with a revolutionary idea (that was already perfected like 5,000 years ago by the crappiest innkeepers in Mesopotamia).
You see, if the tech industry is good at one thing -- and that's being generous by a factor of 1 -- it's reinventing the wheel and turning it into a subscription-based ring-enhanced travel service called "We-L." Out of that disruptive mindset has come PodShare, a California company that offers "pod housing" as an alternative to the extortionately high housing cost in Los Angeles and San Francisco. For only $1,200 a month, young tech bros and broke artists can buy a "subscription" (or as people not trying to circumvent pesky tenant rights call it, renting) to a single bunk bed in a common room, a small TV, WiFi, and basic amenities like toothpaste and (most importantly of all) ramen.
PodShare's many, many critics have condemned its greedy and unoriginal concept, comparing PodShare to an overpriced hostel or dorm. But that isn't fair. At least a hostel offers the promise of travel and excitement, and living in a dorm implies you think you have a bright non-dystopian future ahead of you.
No, PodShare is a medley of every housing crisis of the past 200 years. A "membership" that allows more transient customers to stay in any free bed in any of their locations? That's a homeless shelter with a WiFi login. And the "opportunity" to work for the company in exchange for living in one of their pods is the most Steinbeckian nonsense we've heard in a long time. But most importantly of all, being a Silicon Valley entrepreneur exploiting the poor and immigrants without a credit score by forcing them to pay exorbitant fees for a mattress and a tenth of a sink? That's just being a slumlord.
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