Quote of the week

It helps, says Bill Quick, to think of Eric Garner as a small businessman:

One of the side effects of the legal/regulatory state has been to cut off poor people from small-scale entrepreneurship. Want to open a roadside taco stand? Offer cab services with your private car? Braid hair in your living room? Clean houses without a license or OSHA inspection? Work for less than minimum wage?

Add in a host of other restrictions and requirements that effectively function as a moat to competition that protects larger, better funded businesses, and you block an entire class of people (by income) from entrepreneurial work.

Remember the history of Jews in America? Remember the pushcarts and rug peddlers and all the other modes of self-employment that kept them and their offspring warm, fed, and well enough educated to become the next generation of doctors, lawyers, scholars, and businessmen?

We don’t do that any more. And if you try, you risk your life. Because that makes you a vile criminal.

“You must play by the rules,” say the people who invented those rules to benefit themselves and their cronies.


  1. Tatyana »

    6 December 2014 · 2:06 pm

    I already met this opinion in some other blog.
    The author added – Garner was a small business owner just making a living, and policeman’s duty is to protect small business owners from bandits, not to attack them”. And commenter there replied: “Following that logic, policeman should not have interfere with bandits – they are just plying their small racket business, making a living”.

    Garner was a small black-market crook, monetizing on idiotic government’ restrictions. His mistake was the same as Brown’s – he tried to fight the cops. He is no libertarian hero, just a stupid and arrogant bully having no respect to law and its officers.

    Another story entirely that one of those officers used neutralizing technique that is 20yrs as prohibited in NY. That officer should have been punished for that, and that only.

  2. Tatyana »

    6 December 2014 · 2:11 pm

    And another thing, to B. Quick’s equation of Jewish peddlers with Garner: that’s a lie. Push-cart peddlers, small-time tailors and living room-cobblers did not sell anything illegal, either services or goods. They did not violate the laws of their time and place.

  3. McGehee »

    6 December 2014 · 3:07 pm

    There is an argument that could be made, that “loosies” are only illegal for essentially the same reason alcohol was made illegal nearly 100 years ago — except that Prohibition was actually swept into the Constitution on a wave of popular support not unlike Barack Obama’s election, whereas the regulation against selling “loosies” was enacted by some mid-level bureaucrat interpreting an interpretation of an interpretation of vague legislation.

    Not sure exactly what the substantive difference is, but I’m sure there must be one.


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