Cross-posted on’s “On the Docket.”

For the past month, Americans interested in the making of law and policy have understandably focused their attention on the congressional elections.  Makes sense, since Congress is where our most important national policies are debated and laws are made, right?  Not always.

For some time now, the process of making rules for millions of American consumers, employees, shareholders, etc.  has increasingly deviated from the approach we learned in Civics 101.  Consider what has been developing in the so-called war on obesity, a well-intentioned effort which is unfortunately being used by some activists in and outside government as a platform to demonize businesses and the products they offer.  Driven by the paternalistic belief that consumers can’t manage their own diets, governments at the state, county, and even city level are taking restrictive action, while federal agencies are quietly planning larger scale moves that will impact our freedom to choose what we eat and drink.