The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Sharing my apartment on Airbnb has changed my life in so many positive ways I can't even list them all here but i'm going to try. In 2008 when the economy tanked my brother and I lost our home and my self-employed business and income took a severe hit. Since 2008 I have not been able to afford to buy groceries or have a social life that requires spending money like going to a restaurant or the movies. I fell behind on my bills and my credit score hit an all time low. In order to get any kind of credit the APRs were so high it made it nearly impossible to pay my bills on time and I could never pay anything more than the minimum if i could make a payment. I was broke, every dime I made went back out to pay a bill or a creditor. I didn't have money for food, I cancelled my health insurance because I couldn't afford it [REDACTED] Since 2008 I have spent every day worried about money, bills, how and if I will ever be able to retire, constantly worried about how much the food and gas costs and if I will be able to afford food for the next day and have enough money for gas to get to work. This does not even begin to adequately describe the stress and financial distress that I had been experiencing for 6 years. Every year my rent goes up, the prices of gas and food increase, all my other bills increase and their APRs increase and my job is not giving out any raises. I was drowning in bills that kept increasing while making less money than what I was making before the economic downturn. [REDACTED] My neighbor could see how I was struggling and introduced me to Airbnb last year in December 2014 and what a difference a few months have made, I can't believe I haven't been doing this sooner. Some of the benefits are: 1. I not longer live in fear every month that I'm not going to make enough money to pay my rent. 2. I am able to buy groceries again. 3. I am able to pay my other bills on time and in turn my credit score has improved because my payments are no longer late. 4. I am now able to afford medication and help that I need to treat my depression. 5. The social aspect of Airbnb has helped with my depression. 6. My financial situation has improved. 7. I can be a consumer again so that I can shop small business and help their businesses survive and contribute towards the economy. 8. Reviews posted by hosts and guests are helpful in determining who to accept as guests into your home. Basically Airbnb has helped me to be a part of the American population and feel like a human again. For 6 years I only spent money on necessities so that i could survive and still live in California. I work so hard just to survive and it really pisses me the fuck off that people in government actually think they can tell me who can and cannot stay in my home where I pay the bills. I am not sharing my home on Airbnb for fun, I do it because I need to SURVIVE. Tax people for sharing their homes if you want but don't take away this revenue stream that is holding the real estate market together. If all the people on Airbnb are doing this to make ends meet and it gets taken away then the housing market will crash again like it did in 2008 and the government won't be able to collect any money if those people are homeless. Taking away home sharing is a violation of my constitutional rights and flat out illegal. The government should stop wasting time on this non-issue and focus on solving real problems - like the DROUGHT and that we need fresh WATER to irrigate plants so that the human race doesn't die.