And if I was renting all my furniture and appliances, God, I'd be broke right now from the payments. If I had enough money to rent everything, I'd just buy it and save the rest. Or buy better stuff. Or go on vacation. If I want to move and not take stuff with me, I'll sell it.
I think you missed the point of the article, which was you can focus more on your passion (work, family, hobbies, start up) if you don't bind yourself to ownership. If you own a house, sure, you have an appreciating (???) asset, but you also are responsible for fixing every little thing that goes wrong. The "extra" you pay in rent vs owning is for having a landlord to worry about investing time and your extra money to fix things.
Rented stuff belongs to someone else. I need to take due care, and if I do happen to break it, I usually have to pay more than what getting the equivalent thing off craigslist would cost me.
Also, when you rent, you usually commit to renting for a certain number of months (or sometimes years) - in many ways a lease is much less flexible than owning, because I can't sublet, and I can't force the landlord to lower the price, so if I want to leave, and the market prices of the rental is lower than what I paid for it, I'm potentially on the hook to pay off not only the difference between market value then and market value now, but instead the entire value of the lease.
Another example; a while back I stepped on my thinkpad. Now, being a 200lb guy, the monitor cracked.
Will insurance cover "A fat man stepped on it?" If they do, they'd probably pay retail to replace it (lenovo wanted $700 to fix it, and that'd be factored into premiums.) I think I ended up paying $80 for a new LCD and spent two hours installing it. Probably less hassle than dealing with insurance would have been.
Insurance is best for risks that are beyond your capability to deal with... Usually for small things, it's cheaper, long term, to deal with it yourself. And unless you /enjoy/ bureaucracy, it's usually less work, too.