The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
It may sound direct, but I'll state it clearly and briefly: You can't have it both ways. If the U.S. Congress is sold out to corporate interests, and we live in an economy in which a tiny handful hold the majority of the wealth, the individual needs alternatives to living in squalor. As a working public in the U.S., we've only seen a total income increase of $.75 per hour in THIRTY YEARS. The minimum wage of $1.60 an hour in 1968 would be $10.90 today when adjusted for inflation. Being kept 'satisfied' with a hand-to-mouth existence is exhausting and demoralizing. Living in fear of not paying one's rent or mortgage means for most people keeping quiet about economic injustice. One holds onto what little one can get. - - - - - There are other options, however. We can rise up and revolt. Or we can pursue alternatives. The alternative economy may cut into the bottom line for major corporations. But if it's truly a free market economy, we should each individually have the right to engage in business practices that improve our lots individually and collectively. - - - - - Sharing a space with new friends discovered by way of Airbnb helps people pay their mortgages in the wake of devastating job losses after the catastrophe of 2008. Many are still in credit card debt from that. AirBnB is helping folks pay that off. Furthermore, Airbnb's tools for trust, safety and messaging help hosts get to know the people they choose to share their space with. This is both socially gratifying and reassuring from a safety standpoint. Simply put, Airbnb is an important option for middle class families in America to earn extra money. - - - - - Finally, the guests who stay in Airbnb listings generate sustainable, local economic activity that supports the small businesses in communities across the country.