Need a Ride to Work? Try Your Feet!

When James Robertson needed a ride to work, he gave himself one.

men at work

Next time you hear about someone who says he can’t get a job, because he has no transportation to get him to work… remember James Robertson.

[See also, “What to Do with Free Money? Welfare v. Work Ethic.”]

His story came to me through the Detroit Free Press: “Heart and sole: Detroiter walks 21 miles in work commute.”

Leaving home in Detroit at 8 a.m., James Robertson doesn’t look like an endurance athlete.

Pudgy of form, shod in heavy work boots, Robertson trudges almost haltingly as he starts another workday.

But as he steps out into the cold, Robertson, 56, is steeled for an Olympic-sized commute. Getting to and from his factory job 23 miles away in Rochester Hills, he’ll take a bus partway there and partway home. And he’ll also walk an astounding 21 miles.

Five days a week. Monday through Friday.

It’s the life Robertson has led for the last decade, ever since his 1988 Honda Accord quit on him.

All of that, for a job that pays $10.55 an hour. Wouldn’t you love to have committed employees like that? I tell you, any employer would.

“‘I set our attendance standard by this man,’ says Todd Wilson, plant manager at Schain, Mold & Engineering. ‘I say, if this man can get here, walking all those miles through snow and rain, well I’ll tell you, I have people in Pontiac 10 minutes away and they say they can’t get here — bull!'”

Be like James, and you will always have a job. It’s called having personal character and determination.

A bureaucrat would say there should be a government program to help James and others like him (meaning countless overpaid positions for slugs with not one-tenth the character and determination of James Robertson, who would consume most of the money stolen from taxpayers to “help the poor”). Instead, voluntary donors have stepped up and raised more than $80,000 so far to enable James to afford a car, gas, and insurance. That, dear friend, is the heart of the true America.

Which of your own neighbors could use your help today?