I'm a big fan, Nitasha, but once you read past the headline, it becomes clearer that the article's authors are referring to New York as a legislative body, not the general population. The point of the article questions why New York legal authorities have been so oppositional towards the sharing economy
Thanks for the kind words and I see what you're saying about the incendiary headline, but I'm highly skeptical of the premise—propagated by the companies themselves, astroturfed by their lobbyists, as well as consumers riled up by the idea that government is anti-progress. The rest of the article seems as misguided to me as the idea that vacation homes are a big slice of the a New Yorker's budget. I would love to use airbnb as cheaply and freely as possible, but it's a multibillion company that had not been paying occupancy tax. Incumbents and annoyed neighbors aren't the only people that want oversight about safety. Even the idea that asking for housing or transportation to be regulated as a sign of "hate"-a repeated word in the article—is willfully misleading.
In the name of consumer protection, New York is leaving consumers hurting. The average price of an NYC hotel room after taxes is $350. For that rate on Airbnb, you can get a 2-bedroom penthouse apartment in Greenwich Village with an outdoor patio and working fireplace. Similarly, while a Ford Focus in Manhattan might set you back $150 a day, Rideshare users can get a BMW for $100.
While some neighbors hate Airbnb, and renters may occasionally get a raw deal, for the vast majority of transactions the only parties at risk are the entrenched hotel and car-service industries.
most tax and safety rules were designed for industries that don’t operate on a small scale
Gypsy cabs and short-term apartment renting are still parts of those larger industries, Bloomberg ding-dongs. Hell, it's arguable that they deserve an even higher level of scrutiny. Small, occasional operators are more likely to be ignorant of basic laws concerning health and safety, if not outright indifferent to them.
Again the perception that hotel and taxi regulations are just this useless cruft that The Holy and Perfect Free Market™ will protect us from. All the price gouging and assaults and horrible accommodations that Uber and Airbnb are going through, the regular hotel and taxi business went through a hundred and more years ago, which is why.. tada! All these regulations. But now someone has a smartphone app and says "Oh! We have an app now, so all these regulations designed to protect consumers are no longer relevant!" They're just going to go through it ALL again, lawsuit by lawsuit, case by case, until they rebuild the existing regulatory framework in duplicate,and in a hundred years Uber and Airbnb will be as regulated as hotels and taxis are now.