Tag Archive: Free Enterprise


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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrew Klavan reviews the latest Batman flick and finds a libertarian statement , intentional or otherwise .

  ” There are, after all, no socialist filmmakers in Hollywood. There are only capitalist filmmakers (Michael Moore, for one) who make socialist
films. Likewise, none of the coiffed corporate multimillionaires who anchor the network newscasts can honestly support the Occupy
movement which, taken to its logical conclusion, would result in their being hanged from lampposts.

  Yet while repeatedly tainting the free-market tea party movement with a racism it doesn’t espouse and linking it to violence it doesn’t
commit, many creatives and journalists lend moral support to the socialist “occupiers”—
underplaying the widespread vandalism, lawlessness and grotesque anti-Semitism characteristic of their demonstrations. “

Support Chick-fil-A

  Michael Barone on that hypocrisy

” Conservatives like Malkin and libertarians like megablogger Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit are not the only ones who are outraged by this; so are the liberal editorial writers of the Boston Globe . Their point is simple, and based on Supreme Court rulings: it’s wrong and
unconstitutional under the First Amendment for government to deny business licenses because
of an applicant’s speech and beliefs.

  As the Globe rightly notes, “If the mayor of a conservative town tried to keep out gay-friendly Starbucks or Apple, it would be an outrage.”

   As a conservative on most issues and a supporter of same-sex marriage, I find it fascinating that liberal politicians are so ready to
clamp down on others’ speech.”