The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Thank you for the opportunity for me to add my personal story to the "Sharing Economy" issues. I live in a mid-sized community that is growing in population but not commensurate with employment opportunities. I'm female, in my late 60s, single and retired from working in education and living on a small retirement and Social Security. I drive a 14 y.o. car and have been in the same home for almost 30 years. After a years of caring for children as a single mom, on a fairly fixed salary, I retired with a mortgage and other debts not unusual for my given situation. One of my daughters was nearly murdered in the late 90s, and her rehabilitation and sustained head injury required more and more from my already, just-barely-making-it income. So, when I learned of the opportunity through AirBnB to make travel affordable for some folks who would be unable to visit places like Eugene, plus allow members of the community to benefit, it seemed like a good fit for my situation. What I soon discovered was just how delighted the "guests" in my home felt about being in a real home, being able to explore a "real" neighborhood, and enjoying the local neighborhood restaurants and shops. It seems like a win-win. There is a neighborhood B&B on the same street that seems to continue to thrive and cater to those folks who want a more upscale experience. AirBnB provides the upfront verification and "already reviewed" folks that allow me to feel secure that I'm inviting those folks who have met other AirBnB community members. And to the "guests", I've been reviewed by the same community. It is both "online" and "in-person" that is very appealing to most generations who want to move in the world and feel connected...like a goodwill ambassador of sorts. Thanks for this opportunity!