In the unbridled market, entrepreneurs are rewarded for taking risks and innovating, which is exactly what the homesharing economy has been doing while the hotel industry has refused to update their business model. Just as the taxi industry, whose business model has remained stagnant for the last eighty years, has enjoyed an almost century-long monopoly, the traditional hotel model has had no reason to think seriously about innovation since they were the only game in town. However, instead of using the rise of the homesharing economy as motivation to innovate, the hotel industry instead resorted to cronyism by pressuring Governor Cuomo to increase regulations on their competition. In New York City, it is already illegal for apartment dwelling residents to rent out space in their homes for less than thirty days. However, the new law takes these regulations even further by punishing residents for merely listing their apartments on homesharing websites. Under the new regulations, those caught advertising short-term rental spaces on sites like Airbnb are subject to fines ranging from $1,000-$7,500. President of the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, Peter Ward, stated , For too long, companies like Airbnb have encouraged illegal activity that takes housing off the market and makes our affordability crisis worse. While the hotel industry may see Cuomos actions as a victory against their competitors, it is the residents of New York City who are really being punished by these new regulations. The sharing economy is unique specifically because its model isnt about big business or central control over a given market; it is about individuals connecting with other individuals to conduct business free from all the crippling government regulations found in almost all other sectors. Additionally, for many residents living in one of the most expensive cities in the United States, losing the ability to supplement their income through homesharing comes as a huge blow. According to the New York Post ,Chris Lehane, head of global policy for Airbnb said, Its baffling to us in this time of economic inequality that folks would be looking to impose fines of as much as $7,500 on a middle-class person looking to use the home that they live in to help make ends meet. The new regulations are set to go into effect on November 1st, but Airbnb has sought help from the federal court in Manhattan in order to stop the new law in its tracks. In papers filed with the court, Airbnb claims that federal law has been violated by New York City officials who are punishing Airbnb for content created and posted by third parties.
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