Because the possibility of effectively supervising government varies inversely with government’s size, so does government’s lawfulness.
Mark Perry ends this blog post on excessive government with a satirical passage that is worth quoting in full:
To paraphrase President Obama:.Look, if you’ve been unsuccessful, you didn’t get there on your own. If you were unsuccessful at opening or operating a small business, some government official along the line probably contributed to your failure. There was an overzealous civil servant somewhere who might have stood in your way with unreasonable regulations that are part of our American system of anti-business red tape that allowed you to not thrive. Taxpayers invested in roads and bridges, but you might have faced city council members who wouldn’t allow you to use them. If you’ve been forced to close a business – it’s often the case that you didn’t do that on your own. Somebody else made that business closing happen or prevented it from opening in the first place. You can thank the bureaucratic tyrants of the nanny state.
Lynne Kiesling has available here several posts on the problem of the government-orchestrated ’boutique-ization’ of the market for refined fuels in America. See also this 1999 essay by David Henderson.