The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00260

Submission Number:
00260
Commenter:
Gabriel Shirley
State:
Washington
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I write to share my experience of how the sharing economy has helped me as a rural middle class American make ends meet and improve my family's life. I live in rural Washington state and work in Seattle. The rural economy of Whidbey Island was hit hard by the recession and we lost many small local businesses. Sharing my home with travelers helps spur economic activity that is vital for these businesses to survive and thrive, and makes this community more attractive to young families. I have kids in elementary school, high school and college, so the extra income of renting out rooms through AirBnB is helping to support their (ever increasing) education costs. The sharing economy is helping my family support our needs and the local economy while building healthy relationships with people from near and far. It also helps by making it possible for me to commute by train to work in Seattle, then use a car share to get where I need to go -- avoiding excess wear & tear on roads & infrastructure and making me more productive since I spend less time in traffic. Without car share options like Uber, Lyft, and Car2Go, I would need to drive to work, adding to gridlock and reducing productive work time. I hope the FTC will continue to make reasonable choices that keep the sharing economy affordable. People helping people is how we built this great country and technology is now helping us share more broadly in ways that can grow it into a healthy future. Thank you, Gabriel Shirley