The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01394

Submission Number:
01394
Commenter:
Mark Galanty
State:
California
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
We have used many of the sharing economies, and it has been a positive effect for our families. 1. Uber and Lift, sharing economy for transportation, has been a godsend for our 16 year old son [REDACTED]. On more than one occasion he has been stuck with no way to get home from school, a friends house or a doctor. We are two working parents, and [REDACTED] he can not drive. With Uber and Lift on his smart phone he has been able to find out the cost, order a ride, and pay for it with out the need to carry cash with him. It has been a safe alternative to walking, which he can't go very far, and or a taxi, where there are few to find, and he doesn't carry cash or a card. 2. Vacation Rentals and Airbnb. My father and mother passed away a few years ago. My sister and I inherited the family home. We did not want to sell it, nor during our time of mourning, empty the house of the family history. We also did not want to have a long term renters until we get the family affairs in order. So we rented out the house on short term basis. It helped cover the costs of maintaining the house, allowed visitors from London, Australia, Canada, Russia, as well as families visiting from Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, etc. enjoy and afford Los Angeles. Many families are not able to afford 2 or 3 hotel / motel rooms in Los Angeles, plus some have pets. So this allows for a 3 bedroom 2.5 house with garage and yard. Also, almost most of our renters stay for 30 to 60 days, so they can enjoy the Summer, or winter holidays. The current renters needed a place for 6 months while they remodel their house. This stimulates the economy (the remodel) and allows this family with children to have a home they can stay for some normalcy during their own home work. All these short term renters can more afford a place to stay in the United States, or on vacation / business, and it helps my sister and I with the costs of the house. We have very strict rules in our lease that requires no noise, no parties, etc. We have fines and a no tolerance policy for any disturbances. That way our neighbors are not disturbed. All our neighbors have our cell, work and home numbers so we can deal with any issue that could come up. So far our neighbors are extremely happy, and we have had no issues. Our neighbors, and us, have enjoyed meeting people from around the world. There are no hotels or motels or BandB's in our town of Pacific Palisades. So this provides an opportunities for families needing a short term rental close to this small town. Several have visited for Weddings, or family gatherings. Some for graduations or outsiders for student plays. 3. Relay Cars: We recently used relay cars when our car broke down and we needed to pick up my son from school due to illness. I could not get to a rental car, or connect with family / friends to help. So I looked up car share relay cars and my neighbor had a car. So rented it for a few hours to get my son to a urgent care. It was a life saver, and a car he has sitting around was able to make a few dollars for my neighbor. I meet a new neighbor I didn't know at the same time. We should support the ability to allow people to help others, provide unique ways to solve problems, and help our economy at the same time. If there are issues, then those issues should be addressed, but we should not limit or restrict the ability of people to make money and help others. It is this creative income, helping others, finding ways to make a few dollars, and using things that might sit empty or idle, that will help our country continue to thrive. More tourist, more opportunities, and the comfort of knowing we have options to help our lives, and the lives of others better.