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Why is New Mexico not realizing its potential?
Updated: 5 min 19 sec ago

Right to Work talk heating up

Thu, 2014-11-13 17:30

There is a lot going on when it comes to Right to Work in New Mexico. The head of New Mexico’s AFL-CIO chapter recently railed against such a law saying it could “harm the film industry” in an article in Albuquerque Biz First.

Union bosses hate Right to Work because it impacts their bottom-line and ultimately their political power, so this is not really news. I hate taxpayer subsidies for the film industry so I’d consider a bill that makes paying union dues and “fair share” fees optional and hits the taxpayer-financed film industry a “two-fer.” Alas, in the real world, Right to Work’s impact on the film industry is benign. According to Film Production Capital, the top three states for film production are all Right to Work.

The Albuquerque Journal had a front page article today on Right to Work. Carter Bundy, yet another union boss who was given ample opportunity to explain his opposition to Right to Work made several arguments that simply didn’t hold water in the article. Yes, unions must negotiate on behalf of everyone because they have asked for and received collective bargaining privileges. And, he has nothing at all to back up the statement that Tesla not coming to NM had nothing to do with Right to Work. At least one site selection expert cited Right to Work as an important factor in making NM more business-friendly in general and something needed to make our state more attractive to Tesla.

Finally, Grant Taylor of the Hobbs Chamber had an interesting take (in ABQ Biz First) outlining how unions are given substantial advantages over chambers of commerce in being able to collect dues from those who don’t wish to pay them despite the fact that they must represent them.

State subsidies for Amtrak make no economic sense

Wed, 2014-11-12 13:30

According to a report in the Albuquerque Journal, a new study estimated it would cost about $9 million annually to maintain the New Mexico portions of the line used by Amtrak to run trains through New Mexico. If that money is not spent, New Mexico stands to lose between $3.3 and $3.7 million annually.

So, in classic government fashion (especially for Amtrak which has loses about $1.5 billion annually and has lost money for years), repairing the track for Amtrak’s benefit will have a net negative impact of over $5 million annually.

Oh, and lest policymakers get carried away with concerns that a $3 million economic impact is significant, New Mexico’s overall economy is $79.7 billion. amounts to all of .00376% of New Mexico’s economy. In other words, according to the study, Amtrak’s economic impact on New Mexico’s economy amounts to a rounding error.

Rather than subsidizing an already-money-losing national passenger railroad, it would seem that New Mexico should focus its limited economic development attention and resources elsewhere.