Uber welcomes big name | Aug. 20
Ride sharing boosts the economy
Small businesses are the engine of our economy. They create jobs, generate revenue, and embody the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in cities across the country. And that holds true right here in Tampa, where small business plays a vital role in our future success and driving the city forward.
Our transportation ecosystem — which is in serious need of improvement — is one example where innovation and entrepreneurs can have a real impact on bringing about positive change and greater options for consumers. Competition in the marketplace results in better products and services, lower costs and more choice. We should embrace competition and new ride-sharing services like UberX that expand transportation alternatives, offering safer, more reliable and affordable ways to get around town. More and better choices for consumers is a win for the city.
Beyond the clear benefits to riders, Uber is also contributing to the local economy by providing new and greater opportunities for residents to start their own businesses, make a living and pump money back into the market. Uber gives Tampa residents one more opportunity to leverage technology to be entrepreneurial, build a career and increase earning potential.
The company is already creating 20,000 new driver jobs every month — we should welcome opportunities like that and offer the people of Tampa one more way to earn a living.
I urge the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission to put consumer choice and opportunity first — to embrace safe, reliable transportation alternatives like Uber. Restricting competition and limiting options for Tampa residents will only inhibit future growth and economic success.
Modern technologies require modern regulations. The PTC should take a commonsense approach to regulating ride sharing and signal to the rest of the state that Tampa is indeed an innovative and forward-looking city.
Alan Wiessner, Tampa
Uber welcomes big name | Aug. 20
Try it before you knock it
As a recent visitor to San Francisco, I had the opportunity to use Uber to get around the city. It was easy to use once the app was on my phone; it was quick getting a ride; it was inexpensive (about $8 to go 3-4 miles, uphill); there was no tipping; every car was spotless; and the drivers were gracious and careful. Don't knock it until you've tried it, because you might actually like the service.
Sue Pollard, Seminole
I am writing for the sake of the immigrant dreamers. Too much time has elapsed for these innocent people. How can we say we are an independent, caring nation when we leave their future in limbo?
They are the victims of our broken political system. I don't know how members of Congress sleep at night. They will work only two days in October and then not until after the election.
We didn't elect them to worry about their political careers. We elected them to take care of their constituents, but also to work together for all of us. Congress, get out of your ideological bubble and see the real world.
Elaine C. Cronin, North Fort Myers
Help make nation stronger
Many businesses have been affected by our broken immigration system. Comprehensive immigration reform is good for the economy — it would create 3.2 million new jobs over the next 10 years and reduce the deficit by more than $800 billion over the next 20 years.
Yet people like House Speaker John Boehner don't see it that way. They don't have to worry about money or legal problems, or about the fact that you may not come back to your family after work.
The actions that President Barack Obama took to help immigrants made the economy grow some. This nation was built by immigrants, and it needs to find a way to accommodate new immigrants so we can grow bigger and stronger.
Victor Leon, Bartow
Pope backs force | Aug. 19
Fighting for justice
For those who might find surprising Pope Francis' support for armed conflict against ISIS, it was one of Christianity's founding fathers, St. Augustine, who set down conditions under which war was just. What is more interesting and important is the pope's argument that it should not be just one country — ours — taking up arms. He's obviously right.
The whole civilized world should be going to war against this den of iniquity and, as we did against Nazism (a similar scourge), blighting it out of existence.
K.T. Barnes, St. Petersburg
Outlaw libertarian hopes to be governor Aug. 17
Participate, yes, but then go
I'm glad you're giving coverage to Adrian Wyllie, the Libertarian Party candidate for governor.
My suggestion is that he participate in the gubernatorial debates, which will open up the discussion to his ideas and get the main contenders off their talking points. He must then withdraw his name from the election.
There is no dispute that our next governor will either be Rick Scott or Charlie Crist. In a close election, if Wyllie remains in the race he will take more votes from the candidate who incorporates more of his ideas, thereby assuring victory for the other.
Steven Cohn, Clearwater
Flip-flopping can be a good thing Aug. 21, letter
There he goes again …
Does anyone remember the biggest flip-flopper of all time? Ronald Reagan was a liberal Democrat when he headed the union for actors.
Susan Walzer, St. Petersburg