FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez appears to have no clue as to how centralized services like Airbnb and Uber operate, calling them "peer-to-peer business models" whose innovation must be allowed to flourish.
To be clear, Uber is not peer-to-peer. It is the exact opposite of peer-to-per. It is a centralized service that makes it easy for its customers (people who need drivers) to connect with employees (drivers).
Uber is as much peer-to-peer as Darth Vader sending out his minions to hunt down and kill Jedi. It's as decentralized as Ajax Staffing sending industrial workers to a food processing plant.
The great innovation Uber introduces is not peer-to-peer but W2 regulation avoidance, and what a great innovation that is!
If only we all could operate on the same playing field. It would be a boon for competition and a boon for the working stiff as well. Imagine no payroll taxes. Imagine the end of the corrupt, corrosive worker comp insurance industry which returns a fraction to injured workers. Imagine not spending precious recruiter resources worrying about ACA, EEO, etc, etc, etc.
By eliminating payroll taxes and worker comp, and you can quickly see how a healthy 25% increase in pay could end up in the worker pocket.
To be fair, Ramirez's misconception about Uber as peer-to-peer is not uncommon. A lot of us think of services like Skype as peer to peer. We did so, at least, until a week ago Wednesday when the service went down for 15 hours because its centralized servers sent out buggy configuration data to clients.
Uber, software wise, and is more like an airline reservation system than peer-to-peer networks, and it suffers from the same bottleneck and peak capacity issues airlines do because of its centralization.
Peer-to-peer networks, by definition, allow two or more members to connect without a centralized authority such as Uber matching them up. Examples of actual peer-to-peer networks are Tor, bitcoin, and Ethereum.
Meanwhile, Ramirez calls for 'targeted' regulation of Uber, but she steers clear of specifics, meaning the government appears to have no idea what to do with the unfair regulatory advantage Uber and similar services are enjoying.
If only we could all operate regulation free like Uber. What a worker paradise we would be.