The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
When my wife first suggested we buy the house our neighbor had just put on the market it seemed a bit far-fetched. Neither of us have traditional full-time jobs -- I've been looking for years, have applied at nearly a hundred places and interviewed at almost a dozen, but I'm not comfortable with the majority of employers: they seem to be spinning their wheels -- their work does not seem to be helping those most in need. Thus, I've really been blessed to work in many un-traditional settings- parts of Chicago that North Siders don't usually travel to- cutting-edge research groups that are defining the future for marginalized young people- international programs combining the ideals of art and technology- not the type of jobs, however, with which one buys a house. [REDACTED] AirBnB has not only provided a few dollars to us where there previously were none; it's brought us together with many wonderful people. It's been a flexible opportunity that has allowed us more chances to help people and connect with people and welcome people from all over the country -- and the world -- to Chicago with an affordable means for both of us. We've never doubted the integrity of a guest and I don't believe a guest has ever doubted us. AirBnB takes care of that: extensive profiles of both parties provide us each with just as much information as a traditional hotel would have (if not more)! Indeed, it's an understatement to say AirBnB has helped us: from my wife's first idea about managing our former property as an AirBnB, (based, largely, on one friend's positive experiences) AirBnB has been our hope for the future. It is not a service we provide at the expense of other services- it is a service we provide that EMPOWERS the other things we do. We would not be able to help others in Chicago as we do- I would not be able to work at the non-profit organizations with which I work and my wife would not be able to physically heal from the significant medical traumas from which she is healing and she would not be able to develop and offer the artistic gifts she creates without this ability to offer our own resources: I guess that's what AirBnB really is to me- a recognition that we already have riches among us -- we do not need an outside source to shove them at us- we just need the ability to share them with others.