The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Hi - I've been an airbnb host, traveler and uber user for over three years. Airbnb has had an incredibly positive impact in my life. In 2011 I was laid off my job in NYC and sharing my apartment allowed me to support myself for several months until I found a new job. I was able to continue paying my student loans, health insurance and my rent without depleting my savings. In the process I was also able to host a lot of wonderful people from all over the world, including a gay family who were coming to NYC to marry shortly after gay marriage was legalized in the state of New York. As to Uber, I use it constantly to get around. Now I live in Miami and I've noticed how it's growing popularity here is keeping people from drinking and driving. I wouldn't be surprised if down the road there is a decrease in drunk driving accidents due to the widespread availability of the service in Florida. I just got picked up from an uber driving in the Fort Lauderdale airport and an airport official approached me as I was putting my bags in the trunk and asked me if my driver was an uber driver. Had I'd said yes, the driver would have received a fine of $500. I find it disgraceful that hardworking drivers that provide a service superior to taxis (water, easier payment, friendly service) are persecuted like this. We are killing innovation if we do not foster competition.