At recent protests inspired by black deaths at the hands of white cops, protesters held signs saying "Black Lives Matter" and "I Can't Breathe," the latter a reference to Eric Garner's last words while being arrested by chokehold in New York City.
Garner initially was approached by police for selling individual cigarettes, a victimless crime if one ignores the effects of smoking. Why was Garner selling "loosies?" Because there is a market.
By making a pack of cigarettes unaffordable through high taxes, New York politicians created a market in individual cigarettes. Garner no doubt had loyal and happy customers who could not afford to buy an entire pack.
New York's high cigarette tax was designed to manipulate behavior (decrease smoking) rather than to raise revenue, which is the legitimate purpose of a tax. As with so many misguided policies based on intentions, unintended consequences frequently result.
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Black markets usually are created by government, as are the resulting laws forbidding them. In essence, Garner was killed by the City of New York for depriving it of the tax revenue it needed to pay the man who killed him.
So, a white cop choked an unarmed black man to death. Thought of in another way, government choked to death an entrepreneur — a free man who recognized a market and took initiative.
Like Garner, thousands of other black male entrepreneurs have recognized markets in drugs stronger than nicotine, and many of those men have suffered the same violent fate as Garner, though usually at the hands of their competitors.
The compelling cause of black deaths is not racist cops but market interventions by government to manipulate behavior. Whether through high taxes, regulation or outright prohibitions, government creates lucrative, secondary markets for all sorts of things, like cocaine and nicotine, and it creates tragic, unintended consequences.
Heroin deaths are on the rise in Kentucky. Andy Beshear, Democrat candidate for attorney general, wants to halt the epidemic of heroin deaths by getting tough on dealers.
Those dealers multiplied after his father, Gov. Steve Beshear, pushed to deprive addicts of their pills and more predictable dosing of opioids.
Creating a problem and offering up your son as the solution is how one starts a political dynasty.
The "I Can't Breathe" protestors should join the Tea Party, a group standing up for entrepreneurs and saying to government: "Your taxes, your debt and your regulations are suffocating us, our children and the American Dream. We can't breathe!"
Most Tea Partiers are outraged by the war on drugs, a criminal justice system that too often imprisons nonviolent offenders, disproportionally black, and a public school system that too often imprisons children, disproportionally black.
It is curious that many of the public figures fomenting "Black Lives Matter" protests are on record as for abortion. Black babies are aborted at much higher rates than white babies. Some progressives, like Jonathan Gruber of Obamacare fame, argue that abortion reduces welfare and crime by decreasing the number of future recipients and criminals. Like payday lenders, Planned Parenthood, partially funded by government, operates mostly in low-income neighborhoods, near its customers.
People caught in stampedes sometimes suffocate. A stampede of new illegal aliens certainly will trample some blacks vying for jobs.
Protecting Americans and the border should be job No. 1 of government, but when you are running a retirement Ponzi scheme (Social Security) you need a constant influx of new players.
Government is suffocating blacks. Inspiration, which they need, is sometimes more than the act of breathing.