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San Francisco's War On Airbnb Is A War On The Free Market

•, by Fergus Hodgson

The most ingenious arbiter of resource allocation is under attack around the globe: market pricingIn the cross hairs stands the peer-to-peer economy, which circumvents price controls, favoritism, and central planning.

The intermediary platforms - Airbnb, Uber, Kickstarter, Turo, etc. - have enabled a flowering of mutually beneficial exchange. The beauty of these decentralized networks is surpassed only by the economic value they bring to users.

The success of these intermediaries lies in their capacity to send out price signals and allow the invisible hand of the free market to work. Where there is pent-up supply or demand, these applications make that known. The harmonious response is for new participants to enter the market, either as providers or consumers, and for untapped resources to be utilized.

The enemies of peer-to-peer platforms, therefore, are the enemies of the free market and innovation. These Luddites either do not understand the economic benefits or profit artificially from the status quo. As Mariá Marty, the executive director of the Foundation for Intellectual Responsibility once quipped, "You can tell how corrupt a city is by how vehemently it cracks down on the sharing economy."

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