The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01059

Submission Number:
Gail McDermott
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
To the attention of the Federal Trade Commission: We live in an area of limited economic and housing growth.The cost of living is not met here by simply a paycheck, but by various ways of supplementing such as bartering, charities, ie, food banks, thrift stores, and coupon shopping. It became an option to enroll in Airbnb and share extra space in our home with travellers - many who also have limited funds. There have been guests here both domestic and international, who deeply appreciate the option, especially when hotel space is regularly sold out or limited. The income from this venture is reported and taxes paid, adding revenue to the government on the local and federal level. The extra income is helping to support home improvements, as well as mortgage payments and basic household costs, and in addition, the deficits that occur for our young adult children when they need to care for unexpected automobile expenses, housing, heating, and , in the case of our daughter, veterinary and equine expenses. We have also used the income to supplement medical and dental expenses. My husband and I are 62 years old, both working full time, and without this additional income, it would be hard, if not impossible, to make ends meet. The salary that I am paid, and typical salaries in this area, are generally $3-$4 under the cost of living. These are basic facts that affect financial reasons for participating in a sharing economy system. The most important reason, however, has been the good will, the understanding and sharing of cultural and philosophical ideas, and offering the kind of hospitality that speaks to every guest here of trust, safety, and respect. Citizens from Zambia, Germany, the Czech Republic, France, South Korea, Norway, and over 30 countries have visited here. People from all walks of life, from retirees to newly weds, to mother and daughter or father and son road trips. It is a way to facilitate exploring, not just geography, but relationship... not just recreation, but opportunity. It is real education for real people about real life. Thank you for whatever will be decided to protect our rights for this kind of enterprise. Sincerely, Gail