Tag Archive: Regulation


Americans Name Government As No. 1 U.S. Problem

 

Trends in Top "Most Important" U.S. Problems, March 2014-March 2015

 

 

 

” Americans continue to name the government (18%) as the most important U.S. problem, a distinction it has had for the past four months. Americans’ mentions of the economy as the top problem (11%) dropped this month, leaving it tied with jobs (10%) for second place.

  Though issues such as terrorism, healthcare, race relations and immigration have emerged among the top problems in recent polls, government, the economy and unemployment have been the dominant problems listed by Americans for more than a year.

  The latest results are from a March 5-8 Gallup poll of 1,025 American adults.

  While the ranking of the top two problems is similar to what Gallup found in February, mentions of the economy dropped from 16% to the current 11%. In a separate measure, Americans’ confidence in the economy had been dipping further into negative territory in late February and early March, but has been improving in recent days. “

 

 

    Read it all and rejoice as the truth finally begins to dawn on the general public …

 

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Republicans Fear Net Neutrality Plan Could Lead To UN Internet Powers

 

 

 

 

” The U.S. government’s plan to enact strong net neutrality regulations could embolden authoritarian regimes like China and Russia to seize more power over the Internet through the United Nations, a key Senate Republican warned Wednesday.

  Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune of South Dakota argued that by claiming more authority over Internet access for net neutrality, the Federal Communications Commission will undermine the ability of the U.S. to push back against international plots to control the Internet and censor content.

  Countries like Russia already have made it clear that they want the International Telecommunications Union or another United Nations body to have more power over the Internet, Thune said.

” It seems like reclassifying broadband, as the administration is doing, is losing a valuable argument,” Thune said at his panel’s hearing on Internet governance. “How do you prevent ITU involvement when you’re pushing to reclassify the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act, and is everyone aware of that inherent contradiction?”

  On Thursday, the FCC is set to vote on net neutrality regulations that would declare Internet access a “telecommunications service” under Title II. Advocates, including President Obama, argue that the move is the only way the FCC can enact rules that will hold up to legal challenges in court. The rules aim to prevent Internet providers from acting as “gatekeepers” and controlling what content users can access online. 

  David Gross, a partner at the law firm Riley Wein who advises tech and telecom companies, agreed with Thune’s warning.

  The U.S. has consistently argued that the Internet is not a “telecommunication service” and therefore outside of the authority of the International Telecommunications Union, he explained. “If they were to find that Internet service is a telecommunications service, that would undoubtedly make the job of my successors much more complicated,” Gross, a former ambassador to the ITU during the George W. Bush administration, said.

  A top Obama administration official dismissed the comparison between net neutrality and UN control of the Internet.”

   Read the rest at National Journal and see how confident in the Obama administration’s assurances you are . It’s not like they’ve ever lied to us .

Biden: Middle Class ‘In Worst Shape Since 1920′, Is Currently ‘Being Killed’

 

 

 

     Who do you suppose is responsible for the death of the middle class Joe ? I’ll give you a hint , only one pair of Bozo’s have been in charge for the past half dozen years .

There’s a campaign slogan for the Democrats … “We’re number 27″ … run Joe , run …

Southern Tier Towns Looking To Cut NY Ties

 

 

Southern Tier Secession

 

 

 

” The local economy is pushing one organization in Upstate New York to pose a question: Is it possible to secede to Pennsylvania?

  The Upstate New York Towns Association is researching this very topic. The group says a few factors pushing its research are high property taxes, low sales tax revenue and the recent decision to ban hydraulic fracturing in New York.

” The Southern Tier is desolate,” said Conklin Town Supervisor Jim Finch (R). “We have no jobs and no income. The richest resource we have is in the ground.”

  Finch said the ground in Conklin is rich with natural gas in the Marcellus Shale. However, that shale is unable to be tapped. He described this ban as a violation of his natural rights as a property owner.

  There are 15 towns interested in the secession, according to the Towns Association. These towns are in Broome, Delaware, Tioga and Sullivan counties. The association declined to name the towns without their permission and also declined to comment on specifics at this time. As of now, research is ongoing. The group will be updating Action News with all of their findings in the coming weeks.

  The association said it’s comparing taxes and the cost of doing business in the two states. It says the facts show there is a huge difference between the two. “

 

 

Read more on the legacy of Andy Cuomo and the democrat’s iron grip on state politics .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York, Northeast Lead Nation In ‘Outmigration

 

 

 

 

 

” New York State and the Northeast region led the nation in domestic net “outmigration” in the period from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014 , according to newly released data from the Census Bureau. During the same period, Texas and the South led the nation in domestic net “immigration.”

  Domestic net outmigration is the number of residents who move out of a state or region to another part of the country minus the number of residents who move in from another part of the country. It does not include international migration—n.b. people who move into a state or region from outside the United States, or from a state or region to outside the United States.”

 

 

   This video dates from 2011 and demonstrates that the flight from NY has been ongoing for decades , which gives you an idea of how long the state has been so poorly managed …

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A state or region has domestic net immigration when the number of people moving in from another part of the country exceeds the number moving out.

  From July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014, 30 states had a domestic net outmigration and 20 states plus the District of Columbia had a domestic net immigration.”

 

 

Here are the top ten states that people are fleeing:

 

” 1-New York (-153,921)

2-Illinois (-94,956)

3-New Jersey (-55,469)

4-California (-32,090)

5-Pennsylvania (-31,448)

6-Michigan (-28,679)

7-Connecticut (-26,216)

8-Virginia (-20,400)

9-Ohio (-18,243)

10-Massachusetts (-16,354) “

 

 

 

CNS News has more details

 

 

Here is some further reading on the “Exodus” state:

 

Going Going Gone: Why are People Leaving NY?

People leaving New York State

Escape From New York? High-Taxing Empire State

The “Exodus States:” People leaving New York

The States People Are Fleeing In 2013

Movers Study: People Leaving NY, NJ En Masse

Why Are People Leaving New York?

New Yorkers leaving state

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FAA Grants Permits For Drones To Monitor Crops, Photograph Real Estate

 

 

 

 

 

” The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday issued permits to use drones to monitor crops and photograph properties for sale, marking the first time permission has been granted to companies involved in agriculture and real estate.

  The exemptions to the current ban on commercial drone flights were granted to Advanced Aviation Solutions in Star, Idaho, for “crop scouting,” and to Douglas Trudeau of Tierra Antigua Realty in Tucson, Arizona.

  Advanced Aviation Solutions plans to use its 1.5-pound, fixed-wing eBee drone to make photographic measurements of farm fields, determine the health of crops and look for pests. The aim is to save farmers time walking through fields. The drone also can carry sensors that pick up information invisible to the naked eye, which can help determine which fields need watering.”

 

 

    Will this latest licensing effort by the Feds morph into yet another example of cronyism and reward towards favored , connected corporations ? Of course . Notice that the film industry was one of the first to gain their exemption from the State .

 

CNS News has more

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florida Leaves New York Behind In Its Rear-View Mirror

 

 

 

 

 

” It’s official. Florida is the nation’s third-largest state with 19.7 million people. It surpassed New York this month by adding an average of 803 new residents every day as opposed to New York’s 140.

  Contrary to the stereotype, sun-seeking seniors aren’t the main drivers of Florida’s population growth. James Johnson, a business professor at the University of North Carolina, told the AP that Florida’s powerful economic engine is driving its growth: “I think it’s going to be for the 21st century what California or New York was for the 20th century.”

  As the James Madison Institute reports, Florida’s growth is built on a consensus that taxes, spending, and regulation should be restrained. Its budget is half the size of New York State’s, it lacks a state income tax, and it is much easier to start and run a business there than in many northeastern states.”

 

National Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Job Growth Outpaces Rest Of U.S. Combined

 

 

 

 

” Since the recession began in December 2007, 1.2 million net jobs have been created in Texas. Only 700,000 net jobs have been created in the other 49 states combined.

  The remarkable employment growth in Texas looks even bigger considering its size relative to the rest of the U.S. Total non-farm employment has grown by 11.5 percent in Texas since December 2007. Employment in the rest of the United States has grown only 0.6 percent. Until September 2014, total employment growth in the rest of the United States since December 2007 was still negative.”

 

Washington Examiner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best And Worst Run States In America: A Survey Of All 50

 

Party Control Of States

 

 

” How well run is your state? Assessing a state’s management quality is hardly easy. The current economic climate and standard of living in any given state are not only the results of policy choices and developments that occurred in the last few years, but can also be affected by decisions made decades ago, and by forces outside a state’s control. 

  Each year, 24/7 Wall St. attempts to answer this question by surveying various aspects of each state. To determine how well states are managed, we examine key financial ratios, as well as social and economic outcomes. This year, North Dakota is the best-run state in the country for the third consecutive year, while Illinois replaced California as the worst-run state.

  Selecting appropriate criteria to compare the 50 states is difficult because there is so much variation among the states. As a result, policy decisions that may work in one state might not work in another. Some states are rich in natural resources, while others rely on high-skilled sectors such as technology and business services. Some depend disproportionately on one industry, while others’ economies are more balanced. Further, some states are more rural, while others are highly urbanized and densely populated.

  This year, a number of the best-run states again benefit from an abundance of natural resources. North Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska, and Texas are among the top 10 best-run states, and in all four, the mining industry — which includes fossil fuel extraction — is a major contributor to state GDP. Due in large part to the mining sector, North Dakota and Wyoming led the nation in real GDP growth in 2013. And Alaska has utilized its oil wealth to build massive state reserves and to pay its residents an annual dividend.

  Although less than in years past, the lingering effects of the housing crisis still have a negative impact on several of the worst-run states. In five of the 10 worst-run states — Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, and Rhode Island — home values declined by 10% or more between 2009 and 2013. Worse still, in states such as Arizona and Rhode Island, the housing market remains well below its peak, reached just before the start of the recent recession.”

 

   A brief rundown of the top ten and bottom ten states , color-coded (red for GOP , blue for Democrats , purple for split government) by party control of legislature and governor’s office is as follows: 

 

The 10 best run states:

 

” 1. North Dakota

2. Wyoming

3. Nebraska

4. Iowa

5. Minnesota

6. Utah

7. Alaska

8. Texas

9. Vermont

10. South Dakota

 

 

And here are the ten worst run states:

 

” 41. Alabama

42. Missouri

43. New Jersey

44. Georgia

45. Arizona

46. Kentucky

47. Rhode Island

48. Mississippi

49. New Mexico

50. Illinois

 

 

Click through to the 24/7 Wall Street post for a detailed accounting of all 50 states to see where yours stands .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama: Government Should Regulate Internet To Keep It Free

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” So President Obama has announced that the Internet should be regulated as a public utility. He’s asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reclassify internet service providers (ISPs) from “information services” under Title I as telecommunications providers under Title II regulatory guidelines. (See here for background on the distinction.)

  This is all being done in the name of “Net Neutrality,” keeping the Internet free and open, prohibiting “fast lanes” for certain services and sites, making sure no legal content is blocked, and all other horribles that…have failed to materialize in the absence of increased federal regulation.

  Reason contributor and Clemson University economic historian Thomas W. Hazlett defines Net Neutrality as “a set of rules…regulating the business model of your local ISP.” The definition gets to the heart of the matter. There are specific interests who are doing well by the current system—Netflix, for instance—and they want to maintain the status quo. That’s understandable but the idea that the government will do a good job of regulating the Internet (whether by blanket decrees or on a case-by-case basis) is unconvincing, to say the least. The most likely outcome is that regulators will freeze in place today’s business models, thereby slowing innovation and change. “

 

   More on this latest example of Orwellian State-Speak so commonly spewed by the current administration can be found here . Obama’s line is sure to be a classic right up there with “if you like your doctor…” and “we must pass the bill to see what’s in it . ” .

 One is forced to ask , are the progressives so dense as to be blissfully unaware of the ignorance of their statements , or are they inveterate liars ? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Caught Up With Him To Find Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Wondering how libertarians view the world? The Daily Signal caught up with John Stossel, host of “Stossel” on the Fox Business Network, to hear how the political perspective applies to controversial issues such as Ebola, the economy and drug legalization.

“ Legalization is not about moral implication,” he said while speaking on the issue of drug legalization. “We argue that the drugs are bad … but the laws against them creating the black market are far worse.” “

 

Thanks to The Daily Signal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Why Hillary Clinton Would Be A One-Term President, According To Peter Thiel

 

 

 

 

   The genius behind PayPal , Peter Thiel , speaks with Glenn Beck on the foolish monetary policy bankrupting America and the likelihood of a Clinton presidency being a one term affair .

 

 

 

 

Northeast Loses 40% Of House Seats As People Flee High-Tax States

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The Northeast, once the nation’s political engine that produced presidents, House speakers and Senate giants including the late Edward M. Kennedy, is losing clout in Washington as citizens flee the high-tax region, according to experts worried about the trend.

  The Census Bureau reports that population growth has shifted to the South and the result is that the 11 states that make up the Northeast are being bled dry of representation in Washington.

  Critics blame rising taxes in states such as Massachusetts and Connecticut for limiting population growth in the Northeast to just 15 percent from 1983 to 2013, while the rest of the nation grew more than 41 percent.

The biggest impact comes in the loss of congressional representation.

  Deep in a recent report, for example, the American Legislative Exchange Council tabulated how the drop in population relative to the rest of the nation cut the region’s power in Washington. While the states from Pennsylvania to Maine had 141 House members in 1950, they are down to 85 today, a drop of some 40 percent.

California and Texas combined have more House representatives..

This result is one of the most dramatic demographic shifts in American history. This migration is shifting the power center of America right before our very eyes. The movement isn’t random or even about weather or resources. Economic freedom is the magnet and states ignore this force at their own peril,” said the report. “

 

 

Much thanks to Paul Bedard @ Washington Examiner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Video 9.26.14

FOX NEWS: Crushing Dreams With Regulation

 

 

 

Published on Sep 23, 2014

” Cronyism. How big casinos collude with political power-brokers to crush the less powerful.http://www.LibertyPen.com “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuck in Traffic? Thanks, Obama!: Feds To Regulate Waze, Google Maps, And Other Navigation Apps

 

 

 

 

 

” The Obama administration wants to cripple the navigation and traffic reporting apps on your smartphone. In the name of safety, of course.

  Provisions in the proposed transportation bill—which Congress will look at in the next few months—would give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the power to regulate apps like Google Maps and Waze, the crowdsourced traffic reporting tool. 

  They’re going to start with automobiles’ built-in navigation devices, since regulatory authority is clearer there. Possible “features” include limiting inputs when the car is in motion, or making people click a button saying that they are a passenger.

  But of course, if they make the onboard navigation systems in cars suck, people will just turn to their smartphones, right? So they had better regulate those too. 

  The impulse to regulate against distracted driving has a long, not terribly glorious pedigree, dating all the way back to efforts to go after people who were changing the radio station while driving. In more recent years, talking and texting bans have failed to show clear positive results and may even cause harm.”

 

 

Reason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gee, I Wonder Why Unemployment Is So High

 

 

Cosby GIF

 

 

   The list at the link is just a small collection of ridiculously regulated trades that various state governments have instituted in the name of “protecting” the public , but which are really the result of lobbying efforts by private industry to protect/restrict their businesses , one example of which we highlight below . This is the power of government , picking winners and losers . Crony capitalism at work .

 

 

 

8. Makeup Artists

 

” Teaching someone how to put on makeup without a government permission slip is illegal in 36 states. Even worse, many of these states demand makeup artists get a cosmetologist or esthetician license, which covers many skills they don’t even use. For example, in Nevada, these entrepreneurs are forced to spend “700 hours in a classroom to learn about subjects that have nothing to do with makeup artistry, like how to cut hair, wax eyebrows and manicure nails.” The state’s restrictions are so strict they triggered a lawsuit.”

 

Read more about this protectionism in the guise of “public safety” at BuzzFeed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Toyota Bailing On California

 

 

 

Toyota Is Dallas Bound

 

 

 

” The world’s leading automotive maker will follow the lead of its competitors and other large businesses, and leave California for better business climates elsewhere. Toyota had its US headquarters in Torrance for more than three decades, but now nearly 5,000 jobs will shift to Texas:

  Toyota Motor Corp. plans to move large numbers of jobs from its sales and marketing headquarters in Torrance to suburban Dallas, according to a person familiar with the automaker’s plans. …

The automaker won’t be the first big company Texas has poached from California.

  Occidental Petroleum Corp. said in February that it was relocating from Los Angeles to Houston, making it one of around 60 companies that have moved to Texas since July 2012, according to Texas Gov. Rick Perry.”

 

 

Hot Air has more on the ongoing California business exodus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regulation: This Is What The First Two Months Of A ‘Year Of Action’ Look Like

 

 

 

” President Barack Obama has promised that 2014 will be a “year of action,” during which Administration officials will do everything possible to avoid Congressional hurdles in furthering the White House’s policy agenda. Signaling that the Administration is poised to make good on Obama’s promise, the Federal government added 56 finalized regulations and 1,516 new pages to the Federal Register last week.”

 

 

” The 2014 Federal Register has mushroomed to 9,079 pages in the year’s first two months. If government continued enacting new rules at its current pace, the Register will accumulate 73,218 pages by 2015. According to CEI, that would actually be the lowest number of new pages added to the Register in the past five years.”

 

   Yet according to the article if the seemingly blistering pace of 4500 +/- new pages of regulations per month is maintained through the course of the year , it would constitute the LEAST active year in the past five … Un-F-ing believable .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time To End The ‘Secret Science’ At The EPA

 

 

 

” Here’s an interesting fact: Scientists hoping to be published in the journal Science are told in advance that they must agree to make available “all data necessary to understand and assess the conclusions of the manuscript.” The stipulation is commonplace in the scientific and academic communities, where research results must be transparent and reproducible to be credible.

  That’s supposed to be the way it is for the federal government, too. Here’s how the policy is described by the Administrative Conference of the United States: Federal officials are expected, to the maximum extent possible, to “identify and make publicly available (on the agency website or some other widely available forum) references to the scientific literature, underlying data, models, and research results that it considered. In so doing, the agency should list all information upon which it relied in reaching its conclusions, as well as any information material to the scientific analysis that it considered but upon which it ultimately did not rely.”

  Unfortunately, “secret science” is the norm at the Environmental Protection Agency, according to witnesses at Tuesday’s hearing of a subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. As the committee’s chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, said, “Transparency and independent verification are basic tenants of science and must inform sound environmental policy. When the EPA does not follow these basic steps, it fails in its obligation to the American people and raises suspicions about whether its regulations can be justified.” “

 

   The notion of transparency in government has amounted to nothing but talk in recent years and nowhere is that more evident than in the regulatory morass that is Obama’s EPA . As the Wall Street Journal notes :

 

” The federal government has no business justifying regulations with secret information. This principle has been supported by two of the president’s own science and technology advisers, John Holdren and Deborah Swackhamer. “The data on which regulatory decisions and other decisions are based should be made available to the committee and should be made public,” said Dr. Holdren in testimony before the committee last year. Executive-branch rules dating to the Clinton administration require that federally funded research data be made publicly available, especially if it is used for regulatory purposes.”

 

   While the rules are plain enough , even for government workers to understand , transparency is difficult if not impossible to come by in the world of the EPA .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

America’s Dwindling Economic Freedom

 

 

” World economic freedom has reached record levels, according to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom, released Tuesday by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. But after seven straight years of decline, the U.S. has dropped out of the top 10 most economically free countries.

  For 20 years, the index has measured a nation’s commitment to free enterprise on a scale of 0 to 100 by evaluating 10 categories, including fiscal soundness, government size and property rights. These commitments have powerful effects: Countries achieving higher levels of economic freedom consistently and measurably outperform others in economic growth, long-term prosperity and social progress. Botswana, for example, has made gains through low tax rates and political stability.”

 

   Heck of a job Barack . Now the “Land Of Liberty” needs to take lessons in freedom from Mauritius ? More on this story at the WSJ  and you can view the rankings with methodology and percentages of change year over year at Heritage.org

 

 

Economic Freedom Index 2014

 

 

The “One” promised change and that’s what we’ve got . No one ever said the change would be good .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brought To You By The Free State Project

 

 

Free State Project

 

 

” Among the many advantages of moving to New Hampshire, these 101 reasons are at the top. If you know of a good reason that should be added, let us know.

Government

Sales Tax

New Hampshire has no general sales tax.

Income Tax

New Hampshire has no general personal income tax. Dividends and interest are taxed at only 5%.

Source: Bankrate
Eminent Domain

New Hampshire state law prohibits the use of eminent domain for private use or private development.

Source: USA Today
Gun Laws

New Hampshire offers some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation: no license is required to open carry and a concealed carry license is available on a shall-issue basis.

Seat Belt Laws

New Hampshire is the only state that does not have a mandatory seat belt law for adults.

Right to Revolution

New Hampshire’s constitution is one of only four state constitutions that expressly protect citizens’ right to revolution (Section 1, Article 10).

Image: Some rights reserved by James Walsh

Libertarian Businessman Says Goodbye To California With The New Year

 

 

 

” Libertarian businessman and park privatization advocate Warren Meyer is celebrating the new year by getting the heck out of California, like so many other businesses. He posted the many reasons why it’s so hard to do business in the Golden State, particularly in Ventura County, on his blog. Here’s a sampling of some of the reasons:

  • It took years in Ventura County to make even the simplest modifications to the campground we ran.  For example, it took 7 separate permits from the County (each requiring a substantial payment) just to remove a wooden deck that the County inspector had condemned.  In order to allow us to temporarily park a small concession trailer in the parking lot, we had to (among other steps) take a soil sample of the dirt under the asphalt of the parking lot.   It took 3 years to permit a simple 500 gallon fuel tank with CARB and the County equivalent.   The entire campground desperately needed a major renovation but the smallest change would have triggered millions of dollars of new facility requirements from the County that we simply could not afford.”

 

Reason has more

 

Illustration by A F Branco

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many Private Harms Caused By The Government Shutdown Are Due To Its Own Insistence On Meddling In Our Lives

 

 

 

” The government is so involved in our lives that even basic commerce—simply hiring people—is threatened by political jockeying. Democratic Sen. Harry Reid attacked Republicans as “anarchists” for bringing about the shutdown. Nothing could be further from anarchy than fishing boats sitting idle, waiting for a government functionary to give sailors permission to work. And yet, the common response is anger about the government shutdown, not anger about having to jump through so many hoops in the first place. Even before the shutdown, it would take months for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to approve permits for craft breweries.

Of course, should the crab fishers attempt business as usual, they would undoubtedly find that the parts of government that enforce the regulations are still working. The federal employees with the ability to punish are still on the job. 

Such is often the case when municipal governments face cutbacks as well. Citizens may discover it can take months to navigate government bureaucracy and workers point the finger at staff cuts. But fail to jump through the hoops, like small businesses in non-functional Detroit have attempted, and the bureaucrats and enforcers will come to shut it down.

Government has cleverly made itself impossible to live without because officials have made it illegal for nearly any commerce to take place without its extensive permission structure. The ultimate consequence of such broad government intervention in all aspects of the economy reinforces the idea that we cannot shut down or cut back government, because the regulatory structures and laws still exist.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York’s Petty War On Airbnb

 

 

 

 

“Huddled masses yearning to breathe free” isn’t the first phrase that comes to mind when describing tourists in 21st century New York City booking stays through Airbnb, the wildly popular website connecting residents wanting to pick up some extra cash with out-of-towners looking for cheap alternatives to a traditional hotel. Although the terms and conditions have changed, the commercial impulse is much the same. Take a twenty-something couple named Lauren and Rob, who asked that I not reveal their last names because of the legal issues surrounding Airbnb. They moved to the Big Apple to make it in showbiz. Struggling to make ends meet, they now cover about half the cost of their $2,250-a-month Manhattan apartment by renting out their living room couch for $65 a night.

But unlike New York of a century ago, when capitalist transactions between consenting adults were generally allowed, the government has been waging war on the short-term rental business. A new front just opened that might ultimately drive many of New York City’s roughly 15,000 resident users to quit Airbnb. Last Friday, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a subpoena demanding that the company hand over a spreadsheet listing all its hosts statewide, their addresses, the dates and durations of their bookings, and the revenue these bookings have generated. News of the subpoena was chilling for many of the people whose names will appear on that list because they’ve been using Airbnb in violation of the law (more on the legality of Airbnb in a moment). Seth, a Manhattan lawyer who started hosting short-term rentals of his Upper East Studio during a period when he was out of work, says he’ll probably quit as soon as his lease is up. “The subpoena is scary,” he says, fearing he’ll have to hire a lawyer and pay a big fine.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,184 other followers