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Not much dancing allowed

Not much dancing allowed

Dustin Hurst
December 30, 2014
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December 30, 2014


Maybe Sugar City will ban twerking next.

That’s the thought I had as I loaded the image of Sunday’s dumb law into the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s social media accounts. Sugar City, a tiny town in the frozen tundra of eastern Idaho, actually has a line of city code that outlaws certain dances, including the tango and the Texas tommy—whatever that is.

Of course, Sugar City, my hometown, isn’t going to ban the dance—is that what we’re calling it?— Miley Cyrus made famous anytime soon. In fact, the code banning dances is arcane and probably not enforced.

But, that the code exists reveals a larger problem: Silly and arcane laws remain on the books for years, even though they’re unimportant, not relevant or, worse, harmful.

At the Idaho Freedom Foundation, we produced a calendar for 2014 highlighting one silly or overly restrictive law each day. Some were goofy—looking at you Sugar City—while others were wasteful and encroached on the rights of individuals and businesses. One law prevented movie theaters from showing certain types of movies, while another law gave government workers especially generous pensions funded on the back of taxpayers.

Do we care about repealing the anti-tango law in Sugar City? Not really. But the residents of Sugar City might. And that was the point of the project: To draw attention to unneeded regulations that criminalize everyday acts.

Government reaches too far into your life. Now, hopefully you understand the depth of government’s grasp.

But, then again, maybe banning twerking statewide is the right thing to do ...


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