Promote competition, innovation
Re “Taken by tenants: Perils of the new sharing economy” (Forum, Shawn Hubler, Jan. 11): It certainly sounds like the author had a nightmare tenant, but to present that frustrating story as a reason for over-regulating the entire beneficial sharing economy is not the right approach.
The rare bad actors featured in this story are not the result of a regulatory oversight. Rather, they broke some of the same rules that have governed landlord/tenant agreements since well before the existence of the Internet, much less the sharing economy.
The Internet Association believes that new types of sharing economy businesses merit modern rules that promote competition and innovation and put the public interest first. Smart regulations that provide real benefits to consumers make sense. However, punishing these companies for illegal actions taken by a small minority of users that extend well beyond the reasonable scope of their services is an ill-advised approach to policymaking that would only hinder innovation.
Robert Callahan, Sacramento
An optimist’s view of sharing economy
The phenomenon of the sharing economy has changed the way we live. As an advocate for California consumer technology and innovation, CALinnovates is dedicated to propelling things forward, and we think the sharing economy does just that. When it comes to regulation within the sharing economy, it is important for California to not go backward and rely on outdated laws that slow innovation and consumer choice.
Take ridesharing, for instance. These companies are driving the vibrant shared economy and changing our transportation environment. They are connecting people with rides without having to own a fleet of vehicles or dispatching them from a central hub. These are clearly not taxis and should not be regulated the same. We need to embrace these new innovative models.
As the sharing economy continues to evolve, so too should our regulatory structure. It is time for California to embrace, improve and expand this new era of transportation.
Mike Montgomery, San Francisco
Old rules not the solution
Piling old rules on innovators and entrepreneurs is not the solution for regulating the sharing economy. TechNet, a bipartisan network that promotes the growth of the technology industry, believes a new approach is needed: one that prioritizes innovation and public safety.
Innovation economy companies are introducing disruptive business models that do not fit neatly under old categorizations or existing government rules. They are also committed to protecting consumers and the community – after all, their success depends on it.
The growing popularity of sharing economy services is a testament to the public’s appetite for new options and underlines the broken system of old regulations that protect the taxi and hotel industry far more than the average person. Regulations should be common-sense and address the evolving marketplace – not an opportunity to saddle new business models with outdated rules.
John Doherty, Sacramento
Cartoonist’s fears are ridiculous
Re “Attack changes cartoon world” (Forum, Jack Ohman, Jan. 11): Bee cartoonist Jack Ohman writes about his fears since the Paris attack on the editorial cartoonists at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
Ohman need not worry. Any reader who has seen his stuff more than once will not be a danger to him. His work is minor league, unfunny and not at all thought provoking. His forte is to attack conservatives, nothing more.
You’re safe, Jack.
Bill Sanders, Gold River
More cartoonists needed
Jack Ohman’s perceptive writing more than equals his gifted ability to produce timely cartoons. His Sunday column relating to the sad and troubling events in France underscores the challenges facing the world and the need for journalists like Ohman to continue to fearlessly express their views.
Ben Zeitman, Jackson
Accusations against Limbaugh are false
Re “Calling Limbaugh what he is” (Letters, Jan. 11): All of the accusations of hate, bigotry or racism against Rush Limbaugh are from the left-wing media, and it’s all false. Many liberal-thinking people can’t handle the truth. They don’t like any ideology or opinion that doesn’t coincide with their opinion. If a liberal doesn’t like a talk show host, they want him removed from the air. If a conservative doesn’t like a talk show host, they change the channel.
James Lennon, El Dorado Hills
Not a valid argument for Limbaugh
Re “Limbaugh is entertaining” (Letters, Jan. 11): Tom Farber wrote a letter in response to William Endicott’s op-ed that suggests that Rush Limbaugh is racist and sexist. Farber counters by providing evidence that Limbaugh is very popular and he personally finds him exceedingly entertaining. In what way does that argument suggest that Limbaugh is not the things that Endicott argues that he is?
Todd Freund, Citrus Heights