It was tax collectors that killed Eric Garner, for that is what the cops were arresting him for, selling untaxed cigarettes. See the New York City and State tax on a pack is $5.95 in all. So with the federal excise tax of a dollar, a pack costs at least $14. On the other hand a ‘Loosies’, a single cigarette from a pack bought outside of the state and smuggled in sells for 75 Cents, 2 for $1, bringing in $10-15 to the sellers per pack, if sold as ‘loosies’ on the streets in New York City they will yield a 230% profit to the pack. If the seller give the smuggler 50% of the profit, or $9 per pack, he still has a 180% markup for standing around barking his ware. The advantage to the buyer is that they do not have to spring for a whole pack everytime they want a smoke. The risk to the seller is arrest and fines and or jail time. The New York Times highlights one vendor who sells roughly 2,000 cigarettes a day, usually two at a time with a misdemeanor offense for each transaction, so for many it is worth the risk. It was the high tax that created this crime of selling untaxed tobacco.
The law that Eric Garner violated: N.Y. TAX. LAW § 1814-a : NY Code – Section 1814-A: Person not appointed as a tobacco products distributor. It may well be that all the race baiting and cops against blacks in New York City is nothing less than a superflauge to shift the real blame from the tax to the cops who have to enforce the law leaving the lawmakers blameless.
Across the river in New Jersey a pack of cigarette can be bought in any store for $5-6 , Virginia is even cheaper and is where most of the smuggled cigarettes are bought. This is pisses Virginia off because smugglers buy wholesale to avoid the retail sales tax.
There’s an easy fix for all of this: Cut New York’s cigarette taxes. (Virginia could hike its own tax, but then Virginia didn’t create this problem—New York did.) Yet cutting the cigarette tax would deprive New York of revenue, and we mustn’t have that, oh no. Besides, it would send the wrong signal. New York wishes to make people stop smoking, and punitive taxes are the way to do that without outright banning tobacco, which would be too obviously narrow-minded.
So apparently it falls to Virginia to find a solution to the problem New York created. The state’s crime commission is considering several, including requiring retailers who sell tobacco to buy a special license. Revenue from the licensing could then help fund anti-smuggling operations, which would be handled by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Virginia sells hard spirits in state-owned stores; there’s more money for the government that way.
In short, the answer to a problem caused by governmental heavy-handedness in New York is to increase the degree of governmental heavy-handedness here. Isn’t that always the way?
Before crossing that Rubicon, however, we first should revisit the implied calculus of the cross-state relationship. Under what one might call Giuliani Equilibrium, Virginia took both New York’s good (Broadway musicals) and its bad (dumpster drippings). Now we have a new variable: smuggling, and the criminality attendant thereupon. This adds a negative to the Virginia side of the equation.
Before we add further negatives—more government, higher fees on retailers, etc.—we should first ask New York to correct this. Since it probably won’t do so by cutting cigarette taxes, perhaps it could increase its output of cultural amenities. Even better, it could make Virginia the first stop for all traveling exhibitions and shows.
Eric Garner was out on bail when he was killed for among other things selling loosies. People who pushs for laws for whatever purpose should keep this in mind:
1) Government is force.
2) Government writes the laws.
3) Government uses force to ensure compliance with all of its laws, including the bad ones.
4) If you don’t agree to obey the laws, or fund them, you will be locked up, or killed if you resist.
If you do not want someone to die because of a law do not support the people who would pass such a law. Yale Professor: Every Law Has a Death Penalty Well, take the case of Michael Brown.
This war on smoking is Mayor Bill de Blasio do gooder law is in place for the people’s own good,at least to a Progressive’s mind. First by raising the tax so high that no one can afford to buy tobacco, and then enforcing laws against selling untaxed cigarettes.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has quietly suppressed the public release of a lawsuit to keep untaxed cigarettes out of the city after downplaying those involved in Eric Garner’s death, it is claimed. The groundbreaking suit was reportedly drafted by New York City’s Law Department the same week that a grand jury decided not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo for his role in the death of Garner. It was apparently filed in Brooklyn federal court on December 9 in a bid to prevent out-of-state businesses from supplying cigarette traffickers, who can then avoid hefty state and city taxes. Daily Mail and HERE for a copy of the lawsuit.
He has also announced that he would be banning smoking in public areas, including city streets, another potential death penalty for noncompliers? When you sick the cops upon people they WILL use the FORCE required to bring about compliances, they have no choice they cannot back down. Do not blame the cops, blame the laws that they must enforce. See HERE: “As of November 1st, the smoking ban will go into effect in New York. Initially, there will be a fine of $50 dollars for the first offense, and a $100 dollar fine for all offenses after that. All proceeds from the fines will go directly to rebuilding inner city parks and playgrounds.”
Since November, six stores have been shut down for allowing customers to roll their own cigs. “When one business doesn’t play by the rules it hurts not only the taxpayers, who rely on tax revenue to pay for vital services, but all of the small businesses who do the right thing,” said said Finance Commissioner Frankel in the memo. “It is our job to help level the playing field for businesses and ensure all tax revenue due to the City is collected.” http://observer.com/
It seems to me that the high taxes upon tobacco has conflicting goals, is it to make people quit smoking or to pat for “to pay for vital services and rebuilding inner city parks and playgrounds”?
Now to link this to Michael Brown, the black teenager, who did a strong-arm robbery of a convenience store, walked out with some Swisher Sweets, was stopped by a white cop, then Michael Brown got shot dead! That’s one of the Big 3 legitimate functions of the state. (Protect the borders, provide a courts system, and protect property rights.) Even if the property in question is a $40.00 box of cheap cigars.
When you call out the dogs do not be surprised if they bite someone. The cop is sworn to enforce the law regardless of the nature of the crime or how much force it take to enforce compliance with a lawful order. NYPD No. 3’s order to crack down on selling loose cigarettes led to chokehold death of Eric Garner “That particular area of the 120th Precinct has been the subject of numerous quality-of-life complaints and enforcement actions for months,” Davis said. “Among the specific public complaints of illegal activity in that area included the sale of untaxed cigarettes as well as open (alcohol) container and marijuana use and sale offenses.”
Libertarianism in a nutshell is “Don’t hit people and don’t take their stuff.” Hitting people (except in defense) and taking their stuff is a job reserved for the state. Michael Brown took a convenience store’s stuff and hit the clerk. Eric Garner didn’t take anyone’s stuff, and it doesn’t look like he hit anybody, he was engaging in free trade but a trade in which the Progressive City Government is using the force of law and law enforcers (read cops) to stamp out of businesses.
Bty, if you go to the store and buy some cigarettes for a friend and he pays you after you get back you also are in violation of Federal Law: