Mike, thanks for the polite mention.
I think it is key on fixing some of the problems I see with regulations that the balance be shifted more to personal freedoms and the focus on regulations be more on large business and governments. We are taking away people’s power and agency and giving it to large businesses and government regulatory bodies. The large companies have also captured these government regulatory bodies and now these companies write their own rules. Tighten the noose on these big businesses and loosen it for individuals and small businesses.
Just because something might benefit the majority is not sufficient reason to punish the minority. This is called the tyranny of the majority. That is antithetical to a free society. In a free society the individual rights and personal freedom are paramount, they are more important the regulatory benefits to society.
Setting that little bit of philosophy aside. It is bad regulations that are the worst problems including sometimes the lack of regulation.
This “as someone who enjoys pop, my enthusiasm for higher taxes on sugary beverages is, at best, ambivalent” is the worst kind of thinking. You dislike the higher taxes on sugary drinks because you like sugary drinks. You should dislike the higher taxes on sugary drinks because it is the government punishing you and trying to manipulate you to change your behavior. I don’t like the tax on sugary beverages and I don’t even drink them.
I think our differences are a disagreement on the fundamental role of government.
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
I think you are too broadly interpreting “promote the general welfare” and not giving enough weight to “secure the blessings of liberty.” Like I said in the beginning, we need to strike the right balance and place the focus regulations on entities that are not entitled to liberty, like big corporation.