The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
As a community organizer and professor of urban anthropology in New York City, I am very concerned about the impact of the so-called "sharing economy" on existing labor, housing, and consumer protection regulations. Some questions that require much more critical attention include: the impact of "peer to peer" services on existing labor and safety standards (for example, Uber's impact on the ability of taxi drivers to earn a living wage; the public safety hazards posed by Airbnb users in residential buildings); the impact of Airbnb (and other such platforms) on available affordable housing, as landlords remove permanent housing from the existing housing stock; the question of discrimination (racial, ethnic, gender, etc.) among users within the so-called "sharing economy"; the difficulty/impossibility of regulatory enforcement of the so-called "sharing economy" in the event of de-regulation/legalization. I strongly urge the Federal Trade Commission to address these and other vital questions relating to this expanding sector of the economy.