Errors of Enchantment Blog Postings

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Why is New Mexico not realizing its potential?
Updated: 1 hour 22 min ago

The energy boom is great, but should “independence” be our goal?

Thu, 2014-05-22 20:08

I recently penned the cover article (see page 46) for “Basin Resources” on the topic of “energy independence” for their summer 2014 issue. With the amount of oil and gas coming online in the United States due to new technologies and the fracking process, some are talking anew about “energy independence,” a supposed goal of presidential administrations since the Nixon years.

Rio Grande Foundation is a huge cheerleader for exploring for and embracing those new-found energy sources, but “independence” implies abandoning free trade (or, given current prohibitions on international trade in oil and gas) failing to embrace it. This is not a wise approach for producing states like New Mexico, nor is it in line with free trade which provides benefits for a vast majority of the population. Again, check out the article which begins on page 46 here.

New Mexico’s PRC: working to squash competition again

Wed, 2014-05-21 17:22

New Mexico’s Public Regulation Commission has voted 5-0 to force the innovative ride-sharing service Lyft to stop offering its services in New Mexico. Given the anti-competitive nature of New Mexico’s laws governing taxis and other modes of public transportation, this is no surprise.

These laws were indeed reformed slightly in recent years, but the best that could be achieved was a reduction in regulations. Obviously, nothing close to a free market was achieved and it won’t be achieved until the government no longer has authority over market.

What would have been nice is if the PRC had taken a “wait-and-see” approach with Lyft and at least given the service the opportunity to either provide its customers with a good, safe service or fail to do so with either the PRC shutting them down or (more likely) the market and the lack of customers doing so. The real shame here is that the PRC is stifling fun, innovation, and is ultimately making life in New Mexico (Albuquerque in particular) a little less interesting. In other words, they’re not “protecting” the public, rather the PRC is protecting the status quo of the taxi industry.

Winthrop Quigley is catching on to NM’s economic woes

Tue, 2014-05-20 09:39

With the drumbeat of bad economic news continuing in the Land of Enchantment, the pronouncements of its leading economic analysts and journalists take on added importance. Winthrop Quigley is the business and economics reporter at the state’s largest newspaper. He’s also by no means a “knee-jerk” free market adherent…but he may be coming around a bit if today’s column is any indicator.

Quigley reiterates the need for New Mexico to ween itself off of dependence on Washington. As the following chart illustrates, entitlements are consuming more of the budget while defense and other priorities are consuming a smaller portion of the budget. This is bad news for a state like New Mexico.

Quigley accurately notes that the Democrats’ assertions that raising the minimum wage are, to say the least, not going to lead to stronger economic growth.

I don’t know why Quigley thinks that a state-controlled investment fund is required to spur economic growth in New Mexico considering that New Mexico already has the third-largest such fund among US states.

Finally, Quigley states “I have some sympathy for right-to-work laws, but some folks are expecting too much from right to work.” Rio Grande Foundation has been at the forefront in studying/promoting the benefits a Right to Work law could have for New Mexico. Is such a law going to magically turn New Mexico’s economy around? It is hard to say, but adoption would be a serious first step and it must be part of any serious reform agenda.

Returning control of some of our federal lands would have a tremendous impact as would the expansion of LNG exports (even Tom Udall gets this).

Despite NO minimum wage, Swiss median wage double that of US

Mon, 2014-05-19 16:16

I don’t pretend to be an expert on Swiss public policy. I have enough trouble keeping up with New Mexico, much less Washington. I had no idea before today that Switzerland had no legal minimum wage. So, a labor union attempted to have a referendum passed that would raise the nation’s minimum wage to $24.70 an hour. The move was widely-rejected by Swiss voters who defeated the mandated wage with an astonishing 76% of the vote.

According to the Swiss Economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann who would undoubtedly not be welcome in the Obama Administration, “A fixed salary has never been a good way to fight the problem.”

Minister Schneider continued, “If the initiative had been accepted, it would have led to workplace losses, especially in rural areas where less qualified people have a harder time finding jobs,” he said. “The best remedy against poverty is work.”

Interestingly enough, despite having NO minimum wage, the article notes that the Swiss median income is a robust $37 an hour. This compares rather favorably to the US where minimum wages are rampant and the median wage is $16.71 an hour.

What’s the secret to Switzerland’s success? For starters, I’m sure they have a highly-skilled population which makes their GDP quite high. The country is also among the most economically-free in the world.

The notably non-interventionist Swiss also, in the same election, rejected the government’s proposed purchase of 22 new jet fighters, so there is clearly an impulse among the Swiss for fiscal restraint and limited government. Unfortunately, in the US, we spend massive amounts on incredibly-costly fighter jets of questionable benefit while the economically-illiterate promote a $15 an hour minimum wage.

One might call these tandem Swiss votes (rejecting both voodoo economics and military spending) rather “libertarian” in nature.

RGF proposal on ballot access gains national coverage

Mon, 2014-05-19 13:34

Recently, Rio Grande Foundation came up with a list of politically-popular, free market proposals for conservative/free market candidates for the Legislature. One of those proposals was to reduced/eliminate the requirement that candidates for New Mexico’s Legislature obtain signatures in order to serve in the body on a voluntary basis.

This proposal received attention in Ballot Access News, a national publication that tracks state regulations on ballot access, particularly for third parties.

As the publication notes, “New Mexico will probably be one of only three or four states this year with no minor party or independent candidates on the ballot in November for statewide office.” The publication went on to note that, “The biggest problem with New Mexico ballot access is the state’s unique law that says a qualified minor party must submit large petitions for each of its nominees. No other state requires the nominees of qualified political parties to submit signatures.”

The Rio Grande Foundation has repeatedly made note of New Mexico’s long tradition of single-party rule in the Legislature and the pitfalls associated with monopolies of all kinds.

Ouch: more bad jobs data for New Mexico

Fri, 2014-05-16 16:17

Check this report out from New Mexico Biz First.

The job data from April 2013 to April 2014 for New Mexico and its neighbors are as follows:

Arizona: +40,600
Colorado: +70,800
Nevada: +44,700
New Mexico: -5,900
Oklahoma: +25,600
Texas: +348,000
Utah: +38,500

The silver lining is that job losses were led by the government sector, which shed 3,700 jobs during the year. Of course, I discussed the serious problem with New Mexico’s federal over-reliance in the now-defunct Albuquerque Tribune way back in 2007. Long-term less reliance on Washington will be helpful to New Mexico’s economy and our economic prosperity, but we need policies like our neighbors have (zero income tax, right to work, or constitutional tax and spending controls) that cause businesses and employers to locate elsewhere. The potential for those reforms doesn’t make the transition any less wrenching.

Everyone loved the Energy Bill, but was it really worth passing?

Fri, 2014-05-16 10:44

Finger-pointing on a massive scale is going on in Washington right now over the bi-partisan Energy Bill which was recently killed. Our own Sen. Martin Heinrich recently blasted the bill’s death. The Bill was killed because Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to hold votes on amendments on the Keystone XL Pipeline and speed the export of liquefied natural gas.

Interestingly, while the US aims to isolate Russia for its aggressive behavior, China is on the verge of signing a deal to import Russian gas. Perhaps less obstructionism by the Obama Administration on behalf of LNG exports could have headed off this agreement? We’ll never know.

So, what about the content of the dead energy bill which managed to avoid the two major energy issues of the day (Keystone and LNG exports)? It’s mostly a bunch of special-interest tax breaks and subsidies ostensibly in support of “energy efficiency.” Ultimately, it would have had a negligible impact on US energy policy.

So, rather than passing a vanilla “do nothing” bill, Heinrich should have been pushing hard for a vote on LNG exports which would be a boon for New Mexico’s economy and Keystone XL which would have broader, positive implications for energy and economic growth.

How good/bad are NM’s government services for the dollar?

Thu, 2014-05-15 10:22

I ran across this interesting report today. It purports to show which states make the best and worse use of the taxpayer dollars they generate and receive from Washington. I don’t think it quite does that (the issues is too complex for a simple analysis), but I did find the following chart which ranks the states on the provision of certain government services to be interesting. New Mexico is bottom-five in both education and violent crime. Our best score is on infrastructure (8th) with respectable scores on health (18) and pollution (16). Anyway, check out the link above for the full report and the info-graphic below:

Chief Executive Magazine Ranks Best States for Business = Red States w/ Free Market Policies

Wed, 2014-05-14 10:27

Chief Executive Magazine has just come out with its annual survey of the best states for business. The results are not terrible for New Mexico considering our usual status at the absolute bottom of many of these lists (we’re 30th). But the results are striking for other reasons. Here they are:

Here are the top 10 states on the list:

Texas
Florida
Tennessee
North Carolina
South Carolina
Indiana
Arizona
Nevada
Louisiana
Georgia

Every one of theses sates except Florida and Nevada are red states, and those two are swing states (Democrats and Republicans have split the last four presidential elections there).

Now, for the bottom 10 (10 worst overall states to do business)

Maryland
Pennsylvania
Hawaii
Connecticut
Michigan
Massachusetts
New Jersey
Illinois
New York
California

As the blog Federalist Papers points out:

Every single one of these states (the bottom 10) is run by Democrats.

6 out of 10 of these states are among the 10 people want to leave most. Shocking, people don’t want to live somewhere that punishes people people pursuing the American dream.

Notably, all of the top 13 states are Right to Work while none of the bottom 13 are. Four of the top 10 states have zero income tax rates while many of the bottom 10 have the highest marginal income tax rates.

New Mexico’s left-wing policy leaders love to demonize job creators, but these are the business leaders that start businesses and create the jobs our state so desperately needs.

HT: Dennis Schlessinger

Smart people wasting big money on government schools

Tue, 2014-05-13 14:20

We expect really smart people to be smarter than they are and for them to use their smarts to make good decisions across multiple subject areas. Two of the richest men in the world, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates) have been spending a lot of money and time on education. Unfortunately, both men, while having developed innovative and money-making products in the technology sphere, don’t seem to “get” education.

Take Zuckerberg who spent $100 million to improve Newark’s public schools. At the time, I know I thought this was a total waste of money and that if Zuckerberg wanted to do something useful with $100 million in education, he should have funded tuition scholarships to get kids OUT of failing government schools or he should have supported reform organizations like Rio Grande Foundation or the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

Well, the results are in and it now seems that Zuckerberg’s millions have been wasted. No surprise there. As I wrote just last week, the problem with our education is not principals or teachers, rather it is systemic in nature. Zuckerberg is a billionaire and he’ll get over the loss of $100 million, but a lot of good could have been done with that money, just not in the government schools.

Bill Gates has been dabbling in education for some time and has especially been active in funding and promoting “Common Core” standards. Unfortunately, Common Core doesn’t even pretend to enhance competition in choice in public education and, as George Will notes in the following, short video, Common Core actually takes education policy in the wrong direction (towards more centralization and federal control).

FreedomWorks President and CEO’s Remarks at Rio Grande Foundation luncheon

Tue, 2014-05-13 12:54

The Rio Grande Foundation hosted a luncheon on May 13, 2014 with Matt Kibbe, President and CEO of the grassroots/Tea Party group FreedomWorks. Kibbe is the author of “Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff” and he discussed the book and its message at the event.

FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe Discusses “Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff” from Paul Gessing on Vimeo.

Kibbe also sat down with Rob Nikolewski for a one-on-one interview that can be found here.

Applaud and expand transparency in Aztec

Mon, 2014-05-12 09:39

The City of Aztec is to be applauded for posting a variety of budget and bid information online in an effort to expand transparency and openness in local government. My organization, the Rio Grande Foundation, has been a leader in actually requesting and publishing such data online in an effort to encourage citizens and activists to be more informed and more active citizens.

A few major cities, counties, and school districts around New Mexico have taken steps towards additional transparency, but Aztec is one of the smaller cities in the state to do so. Hopefully, other governing bodies in the Four Corners (and around New Mexico) including the Cities of Farmington and Bloomfield, San Juan County, and San Juan Community College (to name just a few of the big ones) will follow Aztec’s example by publishing similar information.

One small area of improvement that we’d recommend for Aztec is to publish the actual pay for government workers (this is already public information) rather than the employee pay bands that are currently available. Employee names are not essential, but actual real-world numbers would be helpful.

The Rio Grande Foundation is currently in the process of collecting and posting information for counties, cities, school districts, and institutes of higher learning. As the information is received, we will post it on our website www.riograndefoundation.org. We’d love to have the relevant local governments do this themselves, but will continue to do so in the meantime.

A few years ago, Gov. Richardson signed legislation that created New Mexico’s Sunshine Portal. In recent years, that site has been expanded and improved. Of course, there is still a great deal of room for improvement even at the state level. The Rio Grande Foundation recently published a report encouraging the Legislature to post committee votes and hearing footage on a public website.

We the taxpayers ultimately pay the bills for our government. From employee pay to committee votes in the Legislature, this is ultimately our information and it is already public, just not necessarily in a user-friendly format. Kudos to the City of Aztec for opening up its books; it is time to encourage other Four Corners governments and New Mexico’s Legislature to become more transparent as well.

Paul Gessing is the President of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Foundation. The Rio Grande Foundation is an independent, non-partisan, tax-exempt research and educational organization dedicated to promoting prosperity for New Mexico based on principles of limited government, economic freedom and individual responsibility

Most Principals and Teachers DO work hard for schools, but that doesn’t ensure success

Fri, 2014-05-09 14:58

Recently, a representative of the New Mexico Association of Secondary School Principals wrote an opinion piece in the Albuquerque Journal defending his profession.

The most interesting part of the article comes toward the end where the author makes a clear grammatical error when he states, “Let’s not listen anymore to rhetoric that is being promoted by special interest groups that want us to believe that are schools are failing.” (emphasis added to the faulty wording which should be “our). I’ve certainly mis-typed and even mis-spelled words in my writing before, but having such a blatant error in an article written on behalf of school principals is not comforting.

More important is the sentence itself. “Special interests” want us to believe that schools are failing. I’m sure that as an educator, one gets tired of hearing about the failures of the system they are a part of, but that’s the issue, the system. As Capitol Report New Mexico reported just this week, New Mexico spends 20th most per pupil in the nation, but has some of the worst results when it comes to student achievement. Clearly something is failing.

And, yes, poverty is higher here and we have more minority students than most states, but Louisiana which has many of the same problems as New Mexicoincluding poor performance — has adopted the most robust school choice in the nation and an astonishing 91 percent of parents approve. If New Mexico’s principals really cared about their “customers” and wanted to improve the failing system they are a part of, wouldn’t they consider emulating Louisiana?

Is leftist billionaire Tom Steyer about to take on natural gas?

Thu, 2014-05-08 15:37

Left wingers from Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid down, rail against the Koch brothers. For some reason, they give left-wing billionaire Tom Steyer a free pass.

Steyer was recently criticized by the head of the Laborers’ International Union of North America for his vehement opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline. But now, Steyer may be picking a fight with the Obama Administration on natural gas. While Obama has been slow to approve LNG terminals to export gas, his Administration has been willing to see natural gas replace coal as a source of electricity.

But that may not be radical enough for Steyer who, as this article points out, “Tom Steyer is ready to bankroll groups opposed to all fossil fuel development – including natural gas.” The article goes on to note that “Opposition to natural gas will pit him against President Obama and his administration, including EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.”

All of this would be just an interesting slow motion train wreck among two factions of the Democratic Party were natural gas not such an important part of New Mexico’s economy.

On the flip side, legislation introduced partially in response to Russian activities in the Ukraine in support of exporting natural gas to America’s allies recently passed a House Subcommittee on a bi-partisan vote. Unfortunately, as reported by the left-wing Daily Kos Majority Leader Reid has blocked the effort to speed LNG exports in the Senate.

As bad as the Obama economy has been and continues to be, the ironic thing is that the fracking boom has salvaged any semblance of economic recovery (and cut carbon emissions, by the way). Now, the billionaire-funded hard-left is moving against even that!

Is Sagebrush Rebellion 2 Moving to Otero County, NM?

Wed, 2014-05-07 14:55

Rather than describing the story at length on my own, this article from the Alamogordo Daily News really explains the situation.

The key is that a conflict between the Federal Government’s US Forest Service/Department of Agriculture and Otero County, NM. The Sheriff of Otero County, Benny House has been instructed to unlock/open four fences that are limiting access to water by cattle on Forest Service lands in the County. Again, the specific issues and jurisdictions are complex, but it is another disagreement over who should manage resources in the West, the federal government in Washington or state and local governments.

Ultimately, we at the Rio Grande Foundation have endorsed state control as per the 9th and 10th amendments to the US Constitution, but it will take the intervention and activism of local government officials to spur the discussion and ultimately drive the shift in land management away from a far-off bureaucracy to the states.

It will be interesting to see if Sheriff House unlocks those gates and how the Forest Service responds.

Tom Udall: the anti-first amendment Senator from New Mexico

Wed, 2014-05-07 09:25

What a badge of honor for New Mexico; Our senior senator, Tom Udall is the lead sponsor of legislation that would put Congress in control of our free speech rights. Remember, the First Amendment which used to be really popular on the political left. That First Amendment says

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

As Paul Jacob points out at his “Common Sense” commentary, Udall’s proposed Constitutional Amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 19, would rewrite the First Amendment to give powerful congressional incumbents “complete and total control over all money to be raised or spent by their competitors.”

These are the same incumbents that “already enjoy a tremendous name recognition advantage over their challengers.” As Jacob asks, “What happens when incumbents limit campaign spending too low for challengers to compete?”

Good questions. The sad thing is that Udall’s misguided amendment has the support of 35 of anti-speech Democrats including the junior Senator from New Mexico, Martin Heinrich.

To their credit, the ACLU which supports “campaign finance reform,” also supported free speech in the Citizens United case on campaign finance. I’ll be checking with the ACLU to get their views on Udall’s anti-First Amendment amendment.

Missouri and Oklahoma join push for lower income taxes

Tue, 2014-05-06 16:44

During the 2000s, Gov. Richardson and the New Mexico Legislature enacted the largest pro-growth tax cuts in the nation leading to some great years of economic growth in New Mexico.

Unfortunately, particularly since the economic crisis of 2008, New Mexico has struggled with job losses, especially in the form of federal job cuts as Washington moves from “doing stuff” to transferring money from workers to ever-growing entitlement programs. This has left New Mexico’s still-Washington-dependent economy in tatters.

While making the political case for further income tax cuts may be a challenge, other states are making the move. Missouri and Oklahoma have recently enacted modest tax cuts. And, while Missouri legislators are also pushing for a Right to Work law, the state’s liberal governor remains an obstacle.

The fact is states, not Washington, are leading the way when it comes to embracing economic reforms. States like Florida and Texas which are zero income tax and Right to Work are blowing California and Texas out of the water economically, but we’ll have even better data on this as time goes on. Other states that are serious about jobs and economic growth are working to catch up to Texas and Florida. So far, getting policies in place in those states has been impossible in New Mexico. It is up to us to change that.

Reform ideas: Ballot access, remote testimony, voter tax approval

Mon, 2014-05-05 16:30


New Mexico’s state legislature has been controlled by Democrats since 1953, but there are some reasons to think that Republicans could take it over in 2014. While the Rio Grande Foundation is a non-partisan organization willing to work with anyone who shares our ideas, even on a single issue, we have prepared a report on long-overdue reforms that a Republican-led state legislature could have an advantage in enacting. (Democrats are encouraged to read it too!) Not only are these reforms good ideas in their own right, but we believe they are also appealing to the electorate.

They’re both good policy and good politics and given the poor economic performance during the ongoing economic “recovery,” New Mexico needs some good public policy reforms.

First, there’s ballot access reform. Political competition is a good thing, and it’s hard to imagine that the benefits of increased competition stop with the second party. Current New Mexico ballot access law imposes much steeper signature collection requirements on third-party candidates than on Democrats and Republicans. At a minimum, equalizing the signature requirements would provide for a fairer and more truly representative electoral process. Ideally the Legislature could scrap the signature requirement entirely and let voters see the whole menu before making a choice. Voters will like this.

Second, the Legislature’s time management is unimpressive, to put it kindly, which decreases efficiency and transparency. It routinely wastes time during the session and committee meetings are rescheduled on the fly. This makes citizen engagement that much more difficult. There’s little guarantee that experts invited to testify before committees will get their chance, and monitoring what the legislature is up to is a full time job.

Allowing remote testimony is one small change with potentially large benefits. Our state is expansive and getting to hearings in Santa Fe is quite a commitment for most people in the state. Allowing remote testimony from community colleges, for example, would decrease the costs of participating in legislative hearings both for active participants and for citizen monitors. This is a small technical problem that was solved years ago that would also incentivize better scheduling and time management. This proposal, too, should be a winner with voters.

Third, there’s always the issue of taxes. Many states, including our neighbor to the north, require all tax hikes to be approved by the electorate at the relevant political level. We believe it’s sensible to adopt a constitutional amendment doing the same thing here. Asking voters to weigh the costs of a program against the promised benefits beforehand seems like a very politically defensible idea, especially in a state that is significantly poorer than the national average and can ill afford to spend tax money on wasteful programs. Forcing Santa Fe to ask permission from us citizens before spending our scarce tax dollars would incentivize cost-effectiveness and reduce government bloat. Again, it’s a good idea and a winning idea.

The fourth idea is more efficient infrastructure provision. Senate Bill 33 from the 2009 session requires state contracts to pay inflated union-level wages when there are plenty of qualified workers here who are willing to build roads, schools, and other public projects for less; in fact, only 8.7% of New Mexico’s private-sector construction workers have made the choice to join a union. (You can guess which special interest groups pushed for that bill.) Reining in the 15% overpayment on public projects would allow for more results at lower cost. Rather than raising the gas tax as was introduced during the recent legislative session, New Mexico policymakers should pay market rates for construction. This is a simply policy idea that should resonate the vast majority of voters.

None of these proposals is particularly radical. All of them are relatively simple, straightforward, cost-effective ways of furthering the public welfare. Political competition, transparency, efficiency, and wise use of public money are all worthwhile and politically sensible ideas. If the Republican Party does take the Legislature in 2014, we hope our report gives them some ideas. If they don’t, Democrats are free to take advantage of them as well.

McElroy is a Policy Analyst with New Mexico’s Rio Grande Foundation. The Rio Grande Foundation is an independent, non-partisan, tax-exempt research and educational organization dedicated to promoting prosperity for New Mexico based on principles of limited government, economic freedom and individual responsibility

“Profiles in Courage: Raising Taxes”

Mon, 2014-05-05 10:43

I just love the political establishment in this country. It is hard for most of us to fathom the bi-partisan self-congratulatory nature of these people. Take this news story about the folks at the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation giving former President George H. W. Bush it’s 2014 “Profile in Courage” award for breaking his “no new taxes pledge” to raise taxes.

Set aside the fact that presidential libraries are operated at taxpayers’ expense and the fact that JFK was one of America’s great tax-cutting presidents, are America’s political leaders really so devoid of leadership that raising taxes is the most courageous thing they do?

After all, the establishment and media can always be counted on to support tax hikes and oppose even modest fiscal restraint. Agriculture subsidies are just one of many spending programs that could have been cut and Bush didn’t do anything about entitlements (reforming Social Security or Medicare, now that would be courageous). Even Clinton’s welfare reform was far more courageous than raising taxes.

And thus it goes in a nation where true heroes who stand up for limited government and the Constitution are trashed while people who take the easy way out by stealing more of your hard-earned money are lauded as “heroes.” 1984 anyone?

In context, climate change not a big concern for most Americans

Fri, 2014-05-02 17:11

The Sierra Club made their (weak) case in today’s paper for “climate change” being an issue of extreme importance and one that should drive policymakers to embrace “renewables.” In the absence of context, sure, Americans are “concerned” with lots of things, but where does climate change really stack up?

Well, according to Gallup, “Americans Show Low Levels of Concern on Global Warming.” As Goldberg accurately noted in his original article, there ARE indeed environmental issues that are concerning to increasing numbers of Americans, but the abstract issue of “climate change” is nowhere near the top of that list (per Gallup’s own data).

It is also polls far below nearly all other major issues, especially the economy:

And, when discussing polling data, the issue of tradeoffs is important. Should we raise the minimum wage? Support for that is strong, but it goes down dramatically if job losses are discussed. The same is true for the environment. Everyone wants a cleaner environment, but at what cost? And that is assuming that “renewables” as implemented are really cleaner…

But, when it comes to wind, according to the latest U.S. Energy Information Administration data (as discussed by the Heartland Institute), “nine of the 11 largest wind power states are experiencing skyrocketing electricity prices, rising more than four times the national average. Moreover, prices in eight of the 11 states are rising more than twice as fast as in the 39 states with less than 7 percent wind power generation.” Fortunately, New Mexico is not on that list YET.

We soon could be, however. As we’ve reported in the past, New Mexico’s Renewable Portfolio Standard WILL cost utility customers billions of dollars once fully implemented and hundreds-of-millions annually after it is fully-implemented in 2020. Notably, the heaviest burden of increased electricity costs will be borne by the working poor who the left so often claims to support if only to expand government.