The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01175

Submission Number:
01175
Commenter:
Marion Carroll
State:
Massachusetts
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
I loved my part-time, flex-time. telecommuting job. I loved the tasks, friendly interactions with colleagues, and the fact that I could curl up in bed and recharge [REDACTED]. I wasn't earning a lot, but I was able to scrape by. When the job ended I went on line to seek a new one - but I couldn't find anything that combined the elements I need. The jobs I found were full-time, or required time in an office, or called for simple manual actions impossible for someone with my disability. I started paying the mortgage out of savings, paying for groceries and other basic needs with cash from occasional little jobs (e.g. voice lessons I can give in my living room), and anticipating the day when I'd have to sell my lovely house and apply for low-income housing. Then an old friend came by, told me about her own success with airbnb, and urged me to sign up. "I don't have a separate room to rent!" I objected. "Nothing but a captain's bed in the living room! And I don't think I can offer breakfast - just bed..." But she assured me plenty of people would appreciate a place to crash overnight, at low price, within walking distance of the T - and she was right. It's been lovely to meet people from Philadelphia, Texas, Korea, Japan, China, Ukraine - exciting people who've shared their goals and dreams with me. My friends worried that I'd be leaving myself open to danger - theft, or rape - but every guest has been polite, helpful, and very appreciative of a chance to spend an inexpensive night on a comfortable bed within walking distance of the T. My brother in NYC has sent me articles about airbnb's problems in New York. I hope a solution can be found soon! Airbnb is a vital, needed option for travellers and home-owners.