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Quotation of the Day…

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… is from page 185 of the late Paul Heyne [2]’s March 1985 paper “The U.S. Catholic Bishops and the Pursuit of Justice [3],” as this paper is reprinted in the excellent 2008 collection of Heyne’s writings, “Are Economists Basically Immoral?” and Other Essays on Economics, Ethics, and Religion [4] (Geoffrey Brennan and A.M.C. Waterman, eds.) (original emphasis):

“Limited government” does not mean government that limits itself; all governments limit themselves at some point. Limited government means government limited by rules that citizens know and can count on. It means a government that revises the rules only in accordance with the rules. Many students of government have in recent years begun to see the limitation of government in this sense as the critical problem facing democracies. The processes of democratic government are falling increasingly under the control of special-interest groups, groups that can use their intense interest in single issues to coerce legislatures into an endless series of enactments that sacrifice the public interest.

DBx: Indeed so. And making matters even worse, in the nearly 40 years that have passed since Paul wrote these words, more and more the agencies that are acting arbitrarily (that is, lawlessly) are those of the executive branch.