Jun 01, 2016

Freedom Partners Institute Releases Report on Congress and the Peer-to-Peer Economy

Post by Derek Yale

With the rise of businesses like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb, it is clear that peer-to-peer services are emerging as a more convenient and cost-effective way of connecting consumers with innovative entrepreneurs.

But with the growth of the peer-to-peer economy have come the efforts of entrenched special interests to use government rules and legislation to stifle the new industries that pose a risk to the status quo. Some federal, state and local policymakers have indicated their support for reclassifying workers, imposing more stringent licensing processes and outright barring these new, innovative competitors from operating.

That’s the topic of a new report by Freedom Partners Institute, “Will A New Congress Hit The Brakes On Innovation?”, which highlights the members of Congress who are critical of the emerging peer-to-peer economy but frequently use and benefit from services like Uber, AirBnB and Lyft.

Pulling from FEC filings, the report finds that the use of the peer-to-peer economy in 2016 is outpacing that of previous election cycles and, by a factor of four to three, Democrats use ride-sharing more than Republicans.

The release of this report comes in light of threats to crack down on the industry by policymakers and elected officials alike. In a recent speech to the New America Foundation, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren pushed for harsher “rules and regulations” against the peer-to-peer economy. (Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley made similar remarks earlier this year.) Warren’s remarks came on the heels of Uber and Lyft pulling operations in tech hub Austin, Texas, after strict background check regulations were imposed on the companies.

To read the full report, click here.