The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
The concept of people opening their homes and renting rooms, or doing a bed and breakfast, is nothing new, and is taken for granted in Great Britain and Europe as something that has been done, and is enjoyed, for many generations. It not only helps homeowners to cover their expenses, but it furthers community and cultural understanding. There is no question for me that it's been mutually rewarding to meet the people who have come to my home, the wonderful friendships that have evolved from the experience. As a senior on a very limited budget, AIRBNB has made it possible for me to keep my home, period. This is true of many families as well that struggle to pay mortgages and utility bills. At a time when Americans are watching their income go down and jobs lost to endless corporate out-sourcing, at a time when the rich are getting richer and everyone else is becoming poorer, the so-called "Sharing Economy" is an obvious and sane answer for many who are struggling to keep their homes. It amounts to people using what resources they have to create a small business, and if the only resource you have is your home, it's a Godsend. Americans had better start "sharing", because the Hilton, or Verizon, or Walmart, or Monsanto, won't help us to survive, and clearly, don't "share". I cannot applaud AIRBNB, and other such organizations, enough.