As we’ve said here many times, we are NOT permitted to speak freely and honestly about race and the current state of affairs in America, But please allow me the following:
- Will the guilt-ridden and angry people of all stripes please spell out for me what someone like me is supposed to do. I am told that by virtue of my European heritage (questionable by the way for me) and my maleness that I have no way to empathize with people and no ability to comment on it and even if I have not overtly done things to the disadvantage of others, I am still somehow guilty of something. Am I to turn over MORE than the 50% of my current income that I already give up? And remember (I’ll link below) that this itself is bad economics as a form of reparations because I myself am made poorer as a result of the country’s history of maltreatment of people. Am I to sell my house and move to a poorer and more disadvantaged place? Am I to quit my job and find a more disadvantaged person to replace me? Seriously, please someone who is smarter and less “guilty” than I am tell me what exactly are people like me supposed to do for the rest of my life? Should I leave America? Am I obligated to kill myself? Am I to kill my family first before I off myself?
- Here is one fact that EVERYONE must know about slavery.
- I descend from the scum of creation and represent the worst failure in the struggle for existence.
- I’ll allow my cold, echo-chamber, unfeeling, paid-for-by-big-corporate-money libertarian uglies to come out of the closet again … here:
And also, let’s be clear, because when you unleash armies of thugs on the population to enforce every petty law, they’re soon going to acquire an attitude. Eventually, telling a cop, “Please just leave me alone,” as Eric Garner told the cops rousting him, becomes an unacceptable act of defiance. It’s interpreted as an invitation to swarm a man suspected of selling handfuls of untaxed cigarettes and wrestle him to the ground.
You want a society taxed and regulated toward your vision of perfection? It’s going to need enforcers. Those enforcers are going to interact on a daily basis with people who don’t share that vision of perfection, and who resent the constant enforcement attempts. They’ll push back to greater or lesser extents. And the enforcers will twist arms in return to frighten people into obedience. People will be abused and some will die.
Government, at its core, is force. The more it does to shape the world around it, the more it needs enforcers to make sure officials’ wills are done. “The law is the law,” says New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, but it’s creatures like him who make so much damned law. And then they send the likes of Officer Daniel Pantaleo to make sure we comply. Or else they might kill us
Look, police brutality has many underlying causes. One of them is undoubtedly racism; black people are disproportionately arrested and imprisoned. Another cause is the police incentive structure. Police have far more legal protections than non-police. They can get away with so much more. It’s difficult—often impossible—to punish police for bad behavior, which gives the bad apples free rein to abuse people.
You know what’s also a cause? Over-criminalization. And that one is on you, supporters of the regulatory super state. When a million things are highly regulated or outright illegal—from cigarettes to sodas of a certain size, unlicensed lemonade stands, raw milk, alcohol (for teens), marijuana, food trucks, taxicab alternatives, and even fishing supplies (in schools)—the unrestrained, often racist police force has a million reasons to pick on people. Punitive cigarette taxes, which disproportionately fall on the backs of the poorest of the poor, contribute to police brutality in the exact same way that the war on drugs does. Liberals readily admit the latter; why is the former any different?
If you want all these things to be illegal, you must want—by the very definition of the word illegal—the police to force people not to have them. Government is a gang of thugs who are paid to push us around. It’s their job.
When you pass a law, you authorize law enforcement to enforce it. That’s actually why they’re called “law enforcement.” New York City declared war on tobacco a long time ago, and in the process City Hall has become addicted to Brobdingnagian cigarette taxes. That’s why law enforcement is enforcing the laws against bootleg smokes.
Without laws making cigarettes more expensive, Eric Garner would be alive today, period.
In the war on tobacco, like the war on drugs, if politicians will the ends, they must will the means. This is something that libertarians understand better than everyone else: The state is about violence. You can talk all day about how “government is just another word for those things we do together,” but what makes government work is force, not hugs.
If you sell raw-milk cheese even after the state tells you to stop, eventually people with guns will show up at your home or office and arrest you. If you resist arrest, something very bad might happen. You might even die for selling bootleg cheese.
Everyone agrees: No one should die for selling bootleg cigarettes. But if you pass and enforce a law against such things, you increase the chances things might go wrong. That’s a fact, whether it sounds callous to delicate ears or not.
OK, back into my hole.