The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I am a retired scientist and organizational executive, now working as a sculptor and painter. My wife Carol-Ann, a Realtor, and I live in North Carolina, and maintain our livlihood by combing our Social Security, real estate sales, and artwork sales. Last year, we offered the apartment over my garage studio as a short-term rental on AirBNB, as an additional income stream. We call in The Artist's Garret: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2231084. This has been an excellent experience for us. We have hosted folks from all over the country, and have enjoyed making new friends. Our guests enjoy seeing my art, which decorates the apartment. The added income helps us make ends meet. We need to do this, because we lost much of the value of our IRA accounts in the last recession. Our rental apartment meets an unmet need on our area. It allows us to get the best value from our home, and will allow us to stay in our home longer in the future. We believe that things like this in the "shared economy" are stromgly democratizing, in that they allow regular Americans to access parts of the economy that previously only the wealthy and large corporations could enjoy.