Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Peabrain Theories – It’s Capitalism That Killed Eric Garner

Those with good memories might recall Eric Garner. He was selling “loosies” – single cigarettes – from untaxed supplies. At which point the police arrested him, during the course of the arrest he was put into a choke hold and yes, that does mean what it sounds like, whereupon he died.

Foul and appalling, clearly and obviously.

Then we get to peabrain theories – it was capitalism that killed him:

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] What’s been lost in this retrospective was Mr. Garner’s defiant stand minutes earlier when he was first confronted by the police for the economic “high crime and misdemeanor” of selling single individual, untaxed cigarettes. “It stops today,” said the normally affable Garner. He knew the drill. He had been arrested before for depriving the state of the tax revenue on a pack of cigarettes that goes for $14 so as to feed his family. [/perfectpullquote]

Biased a bit there but we’re fine with that. It is obviously absurd to kill someone for depriving the state and city of tobacco taxes.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]When the poor and working class, living in society’s shrinking margins resist even verbally, like Mr. Garner did, they risk feeling the full physical force of a legal system 24-7 . It is all about using the police to enforce the pecking order as defined by capitalist economics even if it takes lives in the process.[/perfectpullquote]

Eh? What in buggery do the capitalists have to do with this?

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The power alchemy of late-stage vulture capitalism in a place like New York City transcends race.[/perfectpullquote]


Then we get told that if you look at it the right way then Bill De Blasio might be considered corrupt. Well, that’s knock us down with a feather stuff.

But capitalism killed Garner?

The tax is imposed by the state. Further, the imposition of ever higher taxes – well past the Laffer Curve peak in NYC as it happens – is very much a progressive left shibboleth, not something the capitalists try to impose. Quite the contrary actually, the capitalists who run the cigarette companies would rather prefer lower taxes so they could sell more.

And no, they don’t care about untaxed sales either. They get their nut when they sell the packs either way.

But then when did we expect anything other than pinhead economic theories from Salon?

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Leo Savantt
Leo Savantt
4 years ago

Why is capitalism so often to blame, especially in this case when it seems that poor police practise is likely responsible? Perhaps a more interesting question is why capitalism rarely gets the credit it deserves for having done more than any other human activity to reduce suffering. Possibly the answer to both queries is that capitalism, unlike socialism, is not a man-made philosophical construct, what we call capitalism is simply observed behaviour. It is a natural inclination of human beings to carry out, as social animals, productive and transactional activities that help both the individual and society at large to… Read more »

4 years ago

I think you’ve fallen for fake news here. He was not put in a choke hold. Yes, he was restrained around the head and neck, but they did not cut off his oxygen supply. He suffered a heart attack because he was 300 pounds and resisted a lawful arrest.

4 years ago

@ Esteban – I think you’ve fallen for fake news here. The police went to arrest Garner for the ‘crime’ of selling ‘loosies’ – except that he wasn’t. He’d been arrested for this before, to be sure – but he wasn’t doing it when they went to arrest him this time. So they arrested him on suspicion of committing a crime without any evidence that he was, in fact, committing it, also known as ‘ an unlawful arrest’. His actual ‘crime’, of course, was arguing with the officers and refusing to ‘cooperate’, also known as ‘contempt of cop’. As to… Read more »

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x