As a public finance economist, I normally focus on big-picture arguments against excessive government.
If the public sector is too large, for instance, that undermines economic growth by diverting resources from the productive sector of the economy.
But I’ve also discovered that it helps to personalize the analysis by pointing out examples of ridiculous and wasteful behavior by government.
That’s one of the reasons I share horror stories as part of the U.S. vs U.K. government stupidity contest - such as the world’s most pointless sign linked nearby.
Some actions by government, however, belong in a different category. I’m not sure what word I would choose to describe them - perhaps venal, evil, despicable, reprehensible, or disgusting would be good options.
Am I being overly dramatic? Perhaps, but is there any other reaction when the government persecutes a family with possible jail time for rescuing Bambi?
Here are some absurd and disturbing details from the Indianapolis Star.
When Connersville police officer Jeff Counceller first encountered the baby deer, she was curled up in the corner of a front porch.It was clear the fawn was injured. Counceller could see the wounds… If left to its own, the animal would surely die… So the Councellers took in the deer, which they named Dani, cleaned and dressed its wounds and nursed it back to health, all with the intention of turning it out into the wild once it was big enough and strong enough to have a chance on its own. …she was unable to stand, and her maggot-infested wound was ugly. The Councellers contacted DNR at the time but were told to return the deer to the wild and let nature take its course. “It would have been a death sentence,” Jeff said.
So the family did what any decent people would do. They nursed the deer back to health. But decency and government often are in conflict.