What are we to think of seemingly irrational government regulations, such as the proposed rule which would treat a mud puddle on a farmer’s land the same as a navigable river?  I suppose there might somewhere exist a few addle-pated regulators who really believe that the future of the planet depends on such edicts, but there couldn’t be many of them.  I think there is more to it.

The regulator’s frame of mind is suspicious in principle of all private power.  To his busybody way of thinking, it is almost beside the point whether the mud puddle diktat is needed or would do any good.  He views the rule as good just because it is a rule, for the farmer must be broken to discipline, like any young horse with too much spirit.

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