Eric Garner Died Because of Progressive Tax Policies
I haven’t been following the Garner case before today and I’m not a lawyer so I’m not going to write about the grand jury’s decision. My heart goes out to his family and after viewing the video of the arrest which resulted in his death, I can understand the anger surrounding the decision.
I don’t wish to trivialize the circumstances of his death but I think it’s important to point out the circumstances surrounding his arrest.
Eric Garner was arrested for selling single cigarettes. It’s a practice that’s become common in American cities due to the absurd cost of tobacco products because of the taxes placed on them. When I was a teenager, a pack of cigarettes cost about a dollar. Today, a pack of cigarettes will run you over $10 a pack in New York and Boston. That is a 1,000 percent increase in price and it’s all taxes.
Eric Garner was an entrepreneur who was trying to make some money by selling “loose” cigarettes and therefore depriving New York State of the tax revenue they derive from the sale of tobacco products. That was his crime. It is a ridiculous crime and certainly not one that warrants death, even if accidental in the course of an arrest.
As he was being arrested, Garner told the police that he just wanted to be left alone. In doing so, whether he knew it or not, he was verbalizing the central premise of Libertarianism. A desire to be “left alone” by government officials and intrusive government policies is the core of American liberty, exhibited in this case by an exorbitant tax on tobacco products enforced by police officers.
Garner may have been breaking a law but it’s a stupid law and his crime was non-violent. He had no weapons and wasn’t bothering anyone.
His death may have been caused by the physical aspects of his arrest, but his arrest was caused by intrusive, big government, progressive tax policies.
Keep that in the back of your mind as progressives urge “the government” to deliver justice for his death.
His death came at the hands of government officials (cops) who were enforcing progressive government policies (tax). The same leftists who have been rioting over the Ferguson grand jury decision have already seized on Garner’s death as a new point of protest and further proof of racism but that couldn’t be more wrong. This has nothing to do with racism. It has to do with government overreach. That may not be as provocative as racism but it’s the truth.
What a sad reason for his death.
Keep Eric Garner’s family and our country in your prayers.