Governments need money. Since they don’t produce anything, they have to resort to parasitic techniques. With the cost of living going up like crazy and threats of a new gas crisis jacking up grocery costs, silly mortals are getting so afraid of tax hikes, they just might vote for the guy who promises none. It therefore makes sense for government to expand its domain, just like Alexander the Great and others, to profit off the labors of those who have not yet been depleted.

But that pesky legislature just took away Boone’s ETJ. It was an unwise move, for how can those mere mortals on the skirts of town survive without planning services from the angels elected to Boone’s town council? What’s more, those Amoral Tuesday nutcases in Raleigh have let power go so far to their heads, they are making it harder and harder for the seraphic hosts in local government to conquer new territories.

“It’s bleak; it’s not impossible,” [Boone’s Planning and Inspections Director Bill] Bailey said.

Perhaps the worst part of it all is the law is so complicated, legal teams and other experts must now study how they may get around new limitations on annexations, and that only drives up the cost of government. There is also a statewide rash of requests for de-annexation, and it is expensive for governments to fight those in court.

Another recourse would be to assume a natural monopoly and jack prices up on that. But then, Evil Asheville, my hometown, is the only place in the universe forbidden by law to do that.