Protecting the candle makers
Published in the Tampa Tribune, Wednesday, April 23, 2014
By Chris Ingram
I frequently travel on business to Jacksonville and have used local cabs to get to and from the airport. On a recent trip, the cab I was dispatched can only be described as less-than-suitable. It was old, smelled like cigarette smoke, the air conditioning didn’t work, and I had to dig between seat cushions, assorted crumbs and trash to find a broken seat-belt locking mechanism.
After picking me up, the driver asked if I minded if he stopped for a second to pick up some items that someone had left out with their garbage. He collected his new-found treasures and placed them in the trunk on top of my suitcase.
My prior experiences with cabs in Jacksonville haven’t been much better, and my occasional cab encounters in Tampa have been similar.
Last week in Jacksonville, I tried Uber. My car showed up early. It was a late-model sedan. It was clean. Everything from the power windows, air conditioning and seat belts all worked.
Even better, the driver was a delightful man who knew how to carry on a conversation using flawless English, with just a slight Sudanese accent. His name was Abbas. He came to the U.S. as a political refugee from Sudan 10 years ago. When he arrived, he had little more than the shirt on his back. A decade later, he has a college education, owns a fleet of 10 cars and employs over a dozen people.
Abbas is an American success story with deep lessons about the value of a good education, picking yourself up from nothing and turning yourself into something, through hard work and determination.
He has learned a lot about American government and burdensome regulations by helping with Uber’s fight in Tallahassee to break the monopoly that traditional cabs have in most markets.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.
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