Sayeth Mr Henley:

Good heavens. Three-quarters of a century of regulatory-state agriculture has left us with a system of subsidized corporate farms who deplete the soil, abuse animals and enjoy a coziness with state agents while the same state agents hassle independent operators and crusading eccentrics out of business. It’s as if, my man IOZ would say, there’s a pattern . . .

If you believe that extensive government regulation and “support” of American agriculture is worth it, you believe that the state bigfooting small farmers on behalf of large ones is a cost worth the benefits managed agriculture delivers. But there’s no pretending that the cost is some odd thing that somehow happened and can be yanked out of the structure. It’s a load-bearing pillar of the regulatory state.

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