The broken window theory of government
The broken window theory is based on zero-tolerance enforcement of minor laws. According to the theory, if minor laws are enforced, major crimes will be deterred (The theory is the excuse Giuliani's goons used to justify breaking a few eggs -- and more than a few skulls -- in their pursuit of a jackbooted omelet).
Does it work? Consider this: My local paper is questioning the director of a local county animal shelter for a possible $10 oversight. I assume that an investigation will be followed by a forced resignation. Such local indiscretion and indignation are a common occurrence.
I regularly read about some low-level state worker who fudged a timecard or an expense report and is sent packing. So the petty crimes are enforced, but the major assaults on our freedom continue as before.
It appears that in government, the broken window is a shattered theory.