Taxi Panic Buttons and Common Sense in NYC
by Anthony Stasi
May 06, 2015 | 5432 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The idea of putting panic buttons in New York City cabs is fitting for the times.

We are living in a time when transportation can be dangerous. Lots of people come to the city from out of town, and they are vulnerable to all kinds of things, and any idea for people to reach the police quickly if there is an accident or a crime being committed is a good idea.

It may take some time – and in all likelihood, a lot of money – to retrofit both yellow and green cabs, but this can be done over a period of a year or two. An extended time period to get on-board would make it a little easier for livery owners and drivers.

Will people occasionally use a panic button for a ridiculous reason? Without question, but in time that would settle down. After all, not many people pull the emergency cord on the subways.

If the city implements this over time, it could be good public policy. If it rushes into a law like this, we will again be reminded of the widening divide between the business and government sectors.

Why Ben Carson Matters

Dr. Ben Carson has thrown his hat into the ring for the Republican nomination for president in 2016. This means we will be barraged with a healthy diet of sound bites and clips illustrating how unfit for office he is - courtesy of the mainstream media.

But Carson’s candidacy, no matter how short lived it may be, is useful for us.

Non-political candidacies are always a good idea in theory, but rarely in practice. You would not want a doctor who is an “outsider” in his profession, and likewise you are rarely better off with a political outsider.

Carson, however, has lived a good story for America. He spent a lot of years living in Baltimore, a city that has been under great stress lately. He is a poor kid who made good.

While Carson wants to run on the narrative that people should pick themselves up by their bootstraps, he can also do something that no other candidate can do: he can tell the people in cities like Baltimore that he gets it. He understands.

It will not change the issues or the emotion of marches and protests, but the public needs symbolism. He is a living example of a man who grew up with little help and few advantages and became a neurosurgeon and now a presidential candidate.

The important part of the story is that while people are marching on the theme that they feel less important, Carson will get most of his support from people who likely felt that he did not matter very much 40 years ago.

Carson is the perfect choice for conservatives who see self-achievement as the cornerstone of their credo. His candidacy will probably not get him to the White House, where the big money (and big consultants) usually win. But his story belongs to everyone, regardless of where he stands on issues.

Ben Carson matters, and although he cannot change what is going on in parts of the country, his narrative is valuable to people who feel that they do not.

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