The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00742

Submission Number:
00742
Commenter:
Christopher van Leeuwen
State:
Pennsylvania
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
To whom it may concern: My wife Afroza and I have been hosting in AirBnb since February 2012, we are 33 and 29 years old, respectively. If the economy wasn't doing so poorly and if the American middle class wasn't disappearing and being replaces with the medieval system of 1%ers and peasants, the 'sharing economy' would be moot. People like my wife and me, we would not have to allow strangers access to our homes in order to just survive; pay rent, and stay off the streets. While we hosted on AirBnb when we lived in the Boston suburb of Newton, AirBnb supplemented our income to the point that had we not had it, my wife would have been able to complete her graduate degree at Harvard University. This is what the sharing economy is to people of my class (the rapidly disappearing middle class) and generation, the millennials. We may not like the sharing economy but we have no choice but to participate in it because the lawmakers of this country have let us down; wage stagnation, housing bubbles, student loans, forced internships with no pay; when a brilliant Harvard grad and her husband must choose between the sharing economy to pay their bills or go homeless, there can be only one conclusion: America has let down its own people in order to protect and boost the billionaires who are robbing the 'average joe' of his economic security and thus, engender something like AirBnb or Uber. As long as there is rampant income inequality, there will be the sharing economy... because us peasants have no other choice. Thank you for your time.