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Idaho Ranked 6th In National Freedoms

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By Jay Michaels

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) A study titled "Freedom in the 50 States" ranks Idaho sixth place in the US when it comes to personal and economic freedoms. But where did the idea come from that Americans moved West to escape growing cities and having to work in factories?

Russ Tremayne, History Professor at the College of Southern Idaho, says, "The gentleman that coined that notion is the very famous historian Frederick Jackson Turner, that said that people came West, that frontier experience created a particular culture, that created rugged individualists."

Tremayne points out that even though Twin Falls County is considered urban, the large agricultural influence plays an important part culturally.

Local resident Ray Ochoa says, "I think I can live life in a purpose of being able to enjoy what God has given me the ability to enjoy. I can go hunt, I can fish, I can work hard. I work in an environment where our families were raised with strong work values."

Student Michael Easterling says, "Walking around my town feeling safer than in a big city. And staying out later at night than in a bigger city."

The study was written by William Ruger and Jason Sorens with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia. It shows Idaho has the second lowest government debt ratio in the country, and while property rights are well-protected here, eminent domain reform left some sizable loopholes.

Tremayne says,"Our materialistic society, and certainly Idahoans are part of that culture, takes away a great deal of our freedom. That's a difficult thing to define, freedom. It's I suppose like art, in the eye of the beholder."

Mar. 29, 2013.


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