The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #01673

Submission Number:
Alexander Pollard
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
"If one really wants to know how justice is administered in a country, one does not question the policemen, the lawyers, the judges, or the protected members of the middle class. One goes to the unprotected - those, precisely, who need the laws' protection most - and listens to their testimony." James Baldwin, The Price of the Ticket, "No Name in the Street" (1972) Airbnb and the sharing economy has democratized capitalism My Name is Alex Pollard. I am 15 and have owned and operated an Airbnb guest space since I was 12. Please take a look at my site containing reviews from guests. My business is accommodating guests in my home, Santa Cruz, CA, a very popular tourist destination. I love it. I get to meet people from all over the world and help them enjoy my town. We have had very positive experiences and our guests have all been very kind. My mother is responsible for online communication with Airbnb and guests, while I do all the work on the ground. I make our room clean and comfortable for company, I greet guests and orient them to the facilities, heaters, and shop for and provide breakfast staples etc. When the guests leave I do the laundry and clean. Also I am responsible for paying local Transient Occupancy Tax, currently 11% as well as filing Federal taxes. I will be attending a boarding school in New Hampshire this fall and my Airbnb business will be financing the tuition, basically I'll be paying my way through high school! My mother has been self employed since 1998 as a preschool/child care provider. She wants me to learn how to participate in the economy as a business owner while continuing my education. Airbnb has taught me a great deal about public speaking, time sensitive responsibilities and budgeting. I believe I have also helped the local economy by directing guests to local shops and restaurants. These skills will be most definitely be the foundation for my adult life.