Liberty and licence: a moral and ethical question.

The  posting below about Big Soda trying to persuade the government that consuming excessive sugar is fine as long as you take plenty of exercise raises the issue of Liberty.

The Obama Administration was taken to task for what some regarded as too many regulations protecting consumers, the environment etc.  The current Administration is scrapping swathes of these regulations.

I would like to hear from a Libertarian about the moral and ethical issues that arise from this dismantling policy.  For instance, is it ethical for the government to tell people it’s o.k to drink as much sugar – sweetened soda as they want as long as they get some exercise, when all the medical research tells us that exercise cannot,  by itself, prevent obesity and illness?   Is it o.k to allow companies to dump toxic waste near rivers that provide drinking water?  Is it the legitimate exercise of liberty to foul the air we breathe with coal and other fumes and particulates that create long term health problems?  It is, in the name of liberty, o.k to feed , say, chickens copious amounts of antibiotics ( to protect farm investment) that are then consumed by humans?  Is it acceptable to allow mining and oil drilling in “protected” areas of natural beauty?

One could go on for pages!  What I would like to know is at what point is it acceptable to Libertarians to restrain the impulse to monetarise and exploit everything in sight in the name of profit, shareholder value and capitalism?  And what and who would you protect from disease and death?  Did you oppose the campaign to rein back Philip Morris and their tobacco business?   ( apologies for being dramatic, but in my world a government exists to benefit the whole population , not just those with connections and money. Yes, think moderation).

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