Thomas Gallatin / July 19, 2016

Elizabeth Warren to Airbnb: No Sleep for You!

The senator’s aim is greater government control and tax revenue.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and two other Democrat senators sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking that it “study and quantify” popular short-term lodging companies, specifically Airbnb. Democrats claim their purpose for sending this request is that they are “concerned that short-term rentals may be exacerbating housing shortages and driving up the cost of housing in our communities.” The letter continues by citing concerns over potential safety and health violations and mentions reports of — what else? — “widespread discrimination against African-American guests.”

This may sound similar to all the wrangling the past couple of years over the driver network program Uber and other similar ride-share companies. And in many ways it is. As with the complaints about Uber, all the huffing and puffing about safety violations, discrimination and “exacerbation of the housing market” is merely a smoke screen for the real agenda — government revenue and the union racket. Commercial enterprises such as the large hotel industry provide a higher tax revenue to both local and federal coffers than does little Aunt Margaret who rents out her spare bedroom a few times a year. And wouldn’t you know, the hotel industry has also jumped on board the anti-Airbnb bandwagon. Competition is leading to loss of revenue, so the unions are calling in the big dogs to sit on the scales.

Warren and her fellow leftist travelers believe that the only good government is a big controlling one, and statists’ primary means to accomplish this aim is through onerous regulations and taxes. Free market capitalism rests on greater individual freedom leading toward greater innovation and individual wealth and a robust economy, as has been proven time and time again. Socialism on the other hand tends toward suppression of individual freedoms, resulting in lack of innovation and growth and large governments whose control and over-regulation leads to a deflated economy. Just ask Venezuela.

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