Thanks to Sarah Hoyt, I found this monstrosity:

Have you ever thrown out some junk mail that came to your house but was addressed to someone else? That’s a violation of federal law punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

That’s just one example from a piece on overcriminalization.

We are, literally, screwed.

In like vein, after quoting from a post by Walter Russell Mead  on overcriminalization (“we’re perhaps the most penal country in history, imprisoning a larger percentage of our population even than the Soviet Union under Stalin“), Glenn Reynolds opined thusly:

Not only do we need prison reform, we need criminal law reform. There should be far fewer crimes, and prosecutors should be under more scrutiny.

The more laws there are, the more crimes there are. It doesn’t take an economist to understand this.

Take a look at these aerial views of beautiful American cities, all built when the federal government had very little power and did almost nothing, and when there were very few laws. There were no income taxes. Almost no building codes. No gun control. And no drug laws. Heroin and cocaine were sold over the counter or in the Sears Roebuck catalog without prescription. Prostitution thrived.

How did such a wild and un-nannied country survive?