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Why is New Mexico not realizing its potential?
Updated: 2 hours 2 min ago

Mora County’s Fracking ban could be in trouble

Thu, 2014-06-05 11:10

The electoral process can be slow and is imperfect, but it may have solved Mora County’s ban on fracking (and all oil and gas extraction). The County’s ban was passed on a mere 2-1 vote and, as Rob Nikolewski reports, one of the ban’s supporters lost handily to a candidate who expressed support for at least some oil and gas drilling in the County.

Overturning the ban may not be the Commission’s top priority, but as the lawsuits and the costs of said lawsuits pile up, it would appear that the hard-core opponents of oil and gas have been replaced by those who are likely to avoid costly legal battles by allowing private land owners to generate income — including income from oil and gas — from their lands. This is undeniably a good result of Tuesday’s primaries.

Health care spending crowding out other federal aid to states

Wed, 2014-06-04 17:24

Check out the chart below:

It’s from Pew Foundation and it illustrates how Washington’s explosion in Medicaid and other health care spending due to ObamaCare and how other payments from Washington to the various stats are shrinking. No matter how you look at it, health care spending is “crowding out” other funding to the states. This could be seen as a good thing or a bad thing, but it is hard to believe that Washington would have cut spending in these other areas without such massive growth in health care.

Arguably, this is just another indicator that Washington’s role is moving from “doing things” like building roads to simply making transfer payments from one group to another in the form of welfare payments.

Lands issue in NM: a real opportunity for conservatives to appeal to Hispanics

Wed, 2014-06-04 10:07

Rio Grande Foundation is an issues-based organization. In other words, we look at public policy issues facing New Mexico’s economy and educational systems from the perspective of limited government. We believe that, when properly understood, limited government and economic freedom benefit ALL of us regardless of race, color, or creed. But, the reality is that public policy reform often involves appealing to specific groups. Certainly, conservatives and free market advocates have struggled to attract Hispanics to our point of view.

At least in New Mexico, the issue of federal overreach on land management issues provides an excellent opportunity. In today’s Albuquerque Journal, A.M. Martinez makes several salient points in that regard. More history on disputes between the federal government and land grant holders here.

Ultimately, when it comes to federal lands, the only thing that everyone can agree on is that Washington does a poor job of managing the land. Given the political challenges faced by Western states in managing those lands for the benefit of Westerners as opposed to wealthy environmentalists back East, we need all the support we can get.

Obama’s carbon emissions reduction plan doubles down on energy boom

Tue, 2014-06-03 13:46

The biggest beneficiary of the ongoing energy boom has been President Obama. That’s not my statement, it’s Rick Newman’s from Yahoo Finance. Obama’s controversial plan to cut carbon emissions by 30% reminds me of the politician that gets a law passed when a trend is already happening.

This doesn’t make it good policy (it’s not); It also won’t reduce overall carbon emissions (much of the coal will continue to be exported to China and Europe); It will definitely result in some economic harms. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, the regulation will reduce GDP by $50 billion a year and prevent the creation of more than 220,000 jobs per year. The hit to household disposable income would be more than $550 billion a year. This would obviously be far worse if, for some reason, the natural gas boom slows or is halted.

The good news is that the full costs of this proposal won’t be felt by 2030. Anytime between now and then our political leaders and Congress could wake up and let the free market — which has already achieved a great deal of what Obama’s regulation imposes (the regulation is based on higher 2005 emissions, not 2012 emissions).

So, if Obama’s goals are achieved, it won’t be windmills, solar panels, or unicorn farts that lead us to the promised land. It’ll be good old fracking, the bane of the whacko “environmentalists” that gets us there. Oh, and for a clear illustration of how Obama has benefited politically from the oil and gas boom, the chart below should suffice.

Tax hike up for discussion at tonight’s Albuquerque City Council Meeting (updated)

Mon, 2014-06-02 12:42

In the wake of the various police shootings and issues over mental health problems, the Albuquerque City Council will be considering a tax hike of 1/8th of a percentage point on the gross receipts tax tonight. I have previously discussed the rationale or lack thereof for such a tax hike. Details follow:

To state the issue simply, there is no reason to raise taxes. There is no clear understanding of the issues at play in the first place and there is certainly no research or even widespread understanding that a tax hike will improve the situation. And New Mexico’s mental health spending is middle-of-the-pack among states, so it is hard to state on its face that more funding is required.

More importantly, when it comes to mental health issues in New Mexico, it must be noted that this spate of mental health problems coincides with some very tough economic times in our city/state. There’s no scientific evidence that I know of that the economy is the problem, but that argument is just as plausible as the “let’s raise taxes” argument. Raising taxes certainly seems unlikely to improve the local economy.

UPDATE: Due to protests, the meeting has been rescheduled for June 9, but according to media reports, no public comment will be allowed.

UPDATE 2: The tax hike issue will be discussed before the full council, presumably in an open meeting with public comment, in August. Stay tuned.

Federal Lands Discussion – Albuquerque

Sun, 2014-06-01 09:39
What Should be Done About Federal Lands in New Mexico?

It seems like not a week goes by without yet another controversy over federal lands in the American West. New Mexico, with 42 percent federal land ownership (as seen in the map below), has been at ground-zero.

To cite just a few very recent or even ongoing situations, there was the Cliven Bundy standoff in Nevada, a simmering standoff over ranchers' access to water in Otero County, and the Obama Administration's unilateral decision to place 500,000 acres of New Mexico land "off-limits" to a wide variety of human and economic uses.

You are invited to a discussion of these at once pertinent and controversial issues with Carl Graham, Director of the Coalition for Self Government in the West.

  • When:  6:00 to 7:30pm on Tuesday, June 17, 2014
  • Where:  Room 2401 at the UNM Law School which is located at 1117 Stanford Dr. NE, in Albuquerque
  • Cost:  There is no charge for this event
  • Please RSVP to:

The Rio Grande Foundation and others have been grown concerned about the federal government's management of lands throughout the West. A Rio Grande Foundation study found that by transferring management of Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands to the State, New Mexico could see as many as 68,000 new jobs and $8.4 billion in additional economic growth.

But the impact of poor federal land policies is not limited to economics: forest fires rage uncontrolled, ranchers, historic land grants, and recreational users have lost access to their lands, and funding provided by Washington in lieu of taxes paid on those lands (known as PILT) continues to leave local governments under-funded.

Legislation that would return or study the return of federal lands to the State of New Mexico has been introduced in the last two legislative sessions.

In addition to land management policies, Graham will be addressing what states like New Mexico can do to not be so reliant on Washington for their economic well-being. In fact, New Mexico is already learning the painful result of over reliance on Washington. But, States need to fully understand and analyze what would happen to their economies in the event of a significant loss of Washington funding. This concept, known as "Financial Readiness" will be introduced in the 2015 New Mexico legislative session and will be addressed in Graham's presentation.

Mother Jones: The Moderate Koch Brothers

Fri, 2014-05-30 16:05

I find the left’s (and Harry Reid’s) hyperventilating about the Koch brothers to be quite humorous. I briefly discussed our own Senators’ attempts to re-write the First Amendment, allegedly to “protect” Americans against the Koch Brothers.

So, I was fascinated to read an article entitled, The Koch brothers can save the Republican Party — by making it more moderate from Daniel Schulman of the far-left Mother Jones magazine and author of a recent book about the Koch’s.

For someone who represents such diametrical opponents of the Koch’s, Schulman is rather flattering and seems hopeful that the Brothers will positively impact the Republican Party. As a moderate on most social issues, I agree with Schulman and hope the Koch’s succeed in moving the Republican Party in a more socially-tolerant direction on drugs, gays, and immigration (this doesn’t mean simply agreeing with the left, but rather avoiding the shrill and often personal rhetoric some on the right engage in).

The most interesting aspect of the piece is that Schulman addresses the Koch Brothers as people as opposed to demons. Undoubtedly, many on the left and certainly some on the right have a right to disagree with the substance of one another’s political positions, but that is a far better and more interesting discussion than the old “You’re funded by XYZ” and inherently lack credibility approach that seems so common these days, especially on the left.

The VA scandal and ObamaCare: similarities and differences

Fri, 2014-05-30 09:49

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock over the last few weeks, you are probably aware of the ongoing scandal at the Veterans Administration. The basics of the scandal involve lengthy wait-times for veterans’ treatment in some cases resulting in death, manipulation of data on treatment and wait-times among top brass at the VA, and outright fraud perpetrated on veterans and taxpayers alike.

This is not the first time that veterans have been failed (remember the Walter Reed scandal?) by their government when it comes to their health care. Given the Obama Administration’s marquee legislative accomplishment “ObamaCare” and this scandal which has signs of “sticking” in ways that other scandals during this Administration have not, it is worth exploring the parallels and differences between ObamaCare and the VA.

The VA is a classic “single-payer” system. This more closely parallels the British or Canadian models than ObamaCare. Not surprisingly, many of the issues causing the VA scandal (rationing, wait-lists, and inadequate care) are often cited as problems with “single-payer” models. I’m not a huge Sarah Palin plan, but I think she was being generous when she made her “death-panels” comments. The reality is that the system’s own inertia will kill people (as has happened with the VA) not an organized panel.

It is worth noting that the VA serves America’s veterans. Few groups in this country are viewed more favorably by all sectors of society. One would expect that health care for a relatively small number of people who served their nation and are viewed sympathetically by large swaths of the population would be BETTER than any care provided to the population at large.

In terms of differences, there is no question that ObamaCare as designed is NOT single-payer. The law simply places additional regulations onto our “third-party-payment” system in which Americans’ health care is paid for by someone else whether that be insurance companies or (increasingly) other taxpayers through government programs like Medicaid. However, many believe that ObamaCare is intended to move America down the path to “single-payer.” None other than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Reid has said that he sees a national single-payer health system as the natural next step for health care in America. Reid said the nation had to “work its way past” insurance-based health care.

Reid and conservative Sen. Tom Coburn don’t agree on much, but they do agree that ObamaCare is a significant step towards “single-payer.”

So far, Republicans seem content to concentrate their ire on the individuals involved in the scandal (Obama, Shinseki, a few rogue bureaucrats), when the problem is the incentives (or lack-thereof) of the “single-payer” system itself. Of course, Republicans have played a tremendous role in creating the VA and I doubt they have the interest in or ability to really reform the system so it works, so I doubt we’ll see much discussion of the systematic problems inherent in the VA model.

Lyft, Taxis, and Regulatory Capture

Thu, 2014-05-29 09:48

What is the role of government regulation in our economy? Supporters of more regulation tend to cite the need to protect clean water and clean air while also protecting consumers against unsafe products. Well-crafted regulations CAN be a force for good in these areas, but all too often, regulations become “captured” by the very industries they are meant to regulate. Rather than being imposed for the public good, regulations become a tool for established players in a given industry to “protect their turf” (and profits) by keeping competition out.

The case of Lyft and its battle with New Mexico’s PRC and the incumbent taxi industry is a great example of this tendency towards “regulatory capture.” Check out this column in defense of the current regulatory system from Michael Cadigan an Albuquerque attorney and former city councilor. Cadigan’s argument can be summed up in one paragraph from his column, “Right or wrong, New Mexico taxis have to charge rates approved by the state. They cannot charge less; they cannot charge more. That is the law, just like it is in nearly every state in the country. They also pay required gross receipts taxes and payroll taxes to the city and state.”

So, no matter how bad the regulations are for consumers, taxi companies and new players should just shut up and deal with it. Of course, this view is based on the fallacious belief that regulations were simply created from on high without the “benefit” of industry input. In reality, as recently as the 2013 legislative session, I sat through committee hearings in Santa Fe in which the only opposition to partial deregulation came from the taxi industry led by their lobbyist Raymond Sanchez. Despite broad bi-partisan support for deregulation, the bill passed was weak tea indeed and still left New Mexico’s transportation industry heavily and unnecessarily regulated.

This heavy regulation doesn’t benefit consumers. It benefits the incumbents in the industry. Airline deregulation that took place in the 1970s was just one famous example and what is happening with Lyft reminds me of a great scene from The Aviator.

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RGF defends charter funding system in letter to the editor

Tue, 2014-05-27 12:50

In Rio Rancho, there has been a battle going on over whether the AIMS charter school should or should not be allowed to open at the UNM campus in Rio Rancho (the school recently received a waiver from the Public Education Department to do exactly that). While RGF supports school choice and charters, the organization had not taken a position on the AIMS expansion in particular. However, a recent article claimed, based on a flawed study from the Legislative Finance Committee, that charters receive disproportionate funding per-pupil relative to traditional public schools. In reality, that is not the case and I pointed it out in a published letter in the Albuquerque Journal Rio edition with relevant links added below:

Letters to the Editor
Albuquerque Journal Rio

The Rio Grande Foundation is a strong supporter of charter schools and school choice, but we have not taken a position on the AIMS/UNM West controversy.

Nonetheless, it is important to clear up an important inaccuracy in Hope Garcia’s piece. She claims that charter schools receive more funding per-student than do traditional public schools. The Legislative Finance Committee report on which this information is based failed to include building and infrastructure expenses which are conveniently provided for traditional public schools, but not for charters.

A new, unbiased and all-inclusive report from University of Arkansas, published in the Journal of School Choice, looked at total per-pupil funding and found that New Mexico charter schools receive $365 less per pupil than traditional public schools.

While it is tough to parse all of the specific issues inherent in the AIMS/UNM West controversy, there is no doubt that money is a big part of the issue. This is yet another argument for an education funding system that provides resources directly to students and their families as opposed to bureaucracies. After all, our education system is supposed to serve students for their educational benefit, not systems and bureaucracies.

First amendment doesn’t need amending

Fri, 2014-05-23 14:31

At 45 just words, the First Amendment has been a bulwark in protecting unpopular speech in the United States for more than 200 years. Whether that speech involved flag burning, the KKK, or unpopular political speech, the Amendment’s clear and concise statement that “Congress shall make no law…” has been an exceptionally-American statement of principal.

The First Amendment remains a clear statement by the American Founders that “democracy” or popular rule must be restrained in our republican form of government. Popular speech needs no special protections.

From reading the media these days, one might believe that political speech undertaken by the Koch Brothers, the Tea Party, and other politically-active Americans are less popular than the KKK. None other than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called the Koch’s “un-American” for engaging in the political process.

So, why would the head of New Mexico’s free market think tank write about the First Amendment right now? One reason is that our own political representatives, led by Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich are working right now to undermine free speech by amending the First Amendment.

In fairness, Udall, the lead sponsor of Senate Joint Resolution 19 which would give Congress new powers to regulate fundraising in federal campaign, is at least taking the proper approach (the amendment process) to abridge Americans’ free speech. A previous “campaign-finance law,” McCain-Feingold, nonetheless passed Congress and was signed by then-President George W. Bush only to see large portions thrown out by the Supreme Court.

Why would elected US Senators take it upon themselves to undermine the First Amendment when it has done so much to protect Americans for hundreds of years? After all, so many components of the Bill of Rights have been eroded over the years yet Americans’ freedom of speech remains the envy of the world.

For starters, Udall and his co-sponsors (as well as previous speech-limiters John McCain and Russ Feingold) all have one thing in common: they launched their assaults on political speech as incumbent politicians. McCain-Feingold was often called the “Incumbent Protection Act” because it placed limits on the ability of outside groups and challengers to raise money…money that could be used to unseat incumbent politicians.

Incumbents, with their ability to send mail at taxpayer expense via the franking privilege, gain favorable media attention through event appearances and legislative initiatives, and fundraise from Washington insiders whose livelihoods they often control, have tremendous advantages over even the best-funded challenger. In 2012, with Congressional approval ratings at record lows, an astonishing 9 in 10 members of the U.S. House and Senate who sought new terms this year were successful.

Yes, money in politics is not always attractive. Election season television and radio barrages are annoying. And there is no doubt that special interests of all political persuasions are adept at using both money and manpower for their own benefit.

But as long as long as government bureaucrats and elected officials control large swaths of the American economy, big money, will find its way into the system. After all, total government spending now exceeds 40 percent of US GDP and new regulations that could make or break businesses and even industries are put forth daily. People with resources at stake are going to find a way to influence those decisions.

Ironically, the Koch Brothers are among a small group that spends large sums not to increase political control over economy, but to reduce it through less government spending, smaller government, and greater personal freedom. For that they are vilified mercilessly by politicians and the media. If Americans focused on taking the politics out of our economy (by reducing the government’s role) rather than money out of politics by restricting free speech, we’d all be better off.

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

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:

North Carolina
South Carolina

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)

New Jersey
New York

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