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Letter: The erosion of our freedoms

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Freedom as defined by Webster’s dictionary is “the quality or state of being free, a: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b: liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another: independence; c: the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous.”

I just read an article put out by the prestigious Mercatus Center at George Mason University, which rated the 50 states on freedoms. They looked at personnel, fiscal, and regulatory freedoms in each state. Our neighbors to the west, North and South Dakota, came in at first and second place in being the most free. Minnesota came in 34th in the rankings.  We ranked 40th fiscally. Fiscal policy consists of categories for taxes, government employment, spending, debt, and fiscal decentralization.  For personal freedom we were 25th; personal freedom includes a variety of categories including victimless crimes, guns, tobacco, and education. Regulatory freedom was 18th; regulatory policy includes the liability system, property rights, health insurance, and the labor market.Maybe with our Democratic/liberal Gov. Dayton wanting to tax anything and everything and the liberal Minnesota House and Senate wanting to regulate us to no end, they can put us in competition for the worst places to live with California (49th) and New York (50th). We’ve already dropped two places since 2009.  With the economy the way it is, our governor and legislators should take a lesson from the new Pope, who is doing with less than his predecessors, and learn to do with less, instead of taxing, regulating and spending us to death.Speaking of spending, I see now where Sen. Sandy Pappas, a liberal Democrat, wants to give illegal aliens instate tuition and possibly financial aid at Minnesota state colleges and universities. Isn’t that rewarding someone for breaking the law? Gee, I wonder if we could be rewarded, say $100, for speeding or maybe rewarded $500 for drunken driving?   We are seeing our freedoms taken away from us on a daily basis either through regulation or by legislation.  Earl Pederson Renville

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