Isn’t regulation a pain in the ass? Airbnb sure seems to think so.
Both houses of the the New York State Legislature passed a bill that would fine New York City residents up to $7,500 for renting out their apartments on Airbnb. Even though it’s been illegal in New York City to rent out your home for less than 30 days since 2010, this bill would serve to enforce those laws with actual fines. So Airbnb enlisted a little help from its friends to petition New York governor Andrew Cuomo to veto the bill.
A letter signed by actor-cum-venture capitalist Ashton Kutcher, the tech billionaire who bankrupted Gawker media Peter Thiel, human embodiment of a Twitter egg Marc Andreessen, one of the Facebook founders who’s not Mark Zuckerberg, and other tech giants sends a strong message to Cuomo. An excerpt published by the Wall Street Journal reads,
“As investors and industry leaders, we believe in the good that Airbnb and home sharing have done for residents of New York,” the letter states. “We implore you to reaffirm your commitment to fostering technology and innovation.”
That’s right, fellas. Every good Silicon Valley boy knows that regulation stifles innovation!
While assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal doesn’t know whether Cuomo will sign the bill into law, she did tell the Wall Street Journal that “a letter from Ashton Kutcher probably won’t make a scintilla of difference.” Ouch. Adding insult to injury she then added, “He’s trying to punk me.” Guess the moral of the story is you can never escape where you came from? Oh, and rich people don’t like regulation. That too.