Free Public Forum - Las Cruces: The Environmental and Economic Impact of Plastic Bags Bans

Free Public Forum

The Environmental and Economic Impact of Plastic Bags Bans

Featuring Julian Morris of the Reason Foundation

In the past two years, two of New Mexico's largest cities, Santa Fe and Silver City, have passed bans on plastic shopping bags. They join hundreds of others nationwide that have adopted similar measures.

It is likely only a matter of time before governing bodies throughout New Mexico, particularly within the Rio Grande Corridor, consider such policies.

To help ensure that decisions on this matter are made on the basis of the best available evidence, we have invited one of the foremost experts to discuss the issues involved at free public events in Albuquerque and Las Cruces.

Las Cruces event details are as follows:

  • When:  Tuesday, September 16, 7:30am to 8:30am
  • Where:  Sunset Grill at Sonoma Ranch Golf Course which is located at: 1274 Golf Club Rd, Las Cruces, NM 88011
  • Continental breakfast will be provided. 

Please let us know you're coming by E-mailing us at rsvp [at] riograndefoundation [dot] org and identify which event (Albuquerque or Las Cruces) you'll be attending.

About the Speaker

Julian Morris is Vice President of Research at Reason Foundation and author of the new report: "How Green Is that Grocery Bag Ban? An Assessment of the Environmental and Economic Effects of Grocery Bag Bans and Taxes".

He wrote a column on the issue that recently appeared in Time.

Date: 
2014-09-16 07:30 - 08:30

Free Public Forum - Albuquerque: The Environmental and Economic Impact of Plastic Bags Bans

Free Public Forum

The Environmental and Economic Impact of Plastic Bags Bans

Featuring Julian Morris of the Reason Foundation

In the past two years, two of New Mexico's largest cities, Santa Fe and Silver City, have passed bans on plastic shopping bags. They join hundreds of others nationwide that have adopted similar measures.

It is likely only a matter of time before governing bodies throughout New Mexico, particularly within the Rio Grande Corridor, consider such policies.

To help ensure that decisions on this matter are made on the basis of the best available evidence, we have invited one of the foremost experts to discuss the issues involved at free public events in Albuquerque and Las Cruces.

Albuquerque event details are as follows:

  • When:  Monday, September 15, 6:00pm to 7:30pm
  • Where:  Room 2401 at UNM Law School which is located at: 1117 Stanford Dr NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106

Please let us know you're coming by E-mailing us at rsvp [at] riograndefoundation [dot] org and identify which event (Albuquerque or Las Cruces) you'll be attending.

About the Speaker

Julian Morris is Vice President of Research at Reason Foundation and author of the new report: "How Green Is that Grocery Bag Ban? An Assessment of the Environmental and Economic Effects of Grocery Bag Bans and Taxes".

He wrote a column on the issue that recently appeared in Time.

Date: 
2014-09-15 18:00 - 19:30

Right-to-work law and lower taxes will help more than subsidies

It's official. Tesla has broken ground at its new "gigafactory" near Reno, Nevada. While New Mexico appears to have missed out on Tesla and its expected 6,500 jobs, some legislators, when asked, seem willing to spend as much as 500 million tax dollars to lure the company to the state.

While details are by no means firm, it appears that Tesla is looking for an infusion of $500 million, not tax breaks of $500 million. The difference between the two is that tax breaks don't actually "cost" the state/taxpayers anything because Tesla would have to locate in New Mexico for any tax revenue to result from its activities. When it comes to outright spending of New Mexicans' tax dollars, those are dollars that come directly out of the pockets of average New Mexicans and the businesses already located here.

This important nuance explains why we at Rio Grande Foundation oppose payments made to the film industry which, according to a new legislative report, paid out $251 million in incentives to the film industry with $103.6 million in state and local tax dollars generated over the same basic time period. In simple mathematical terms, the state spent $147 million more than it generated from the film industry in recent years. That's called a "loss" in any other industry. Jobs were created, but the net loss really illustrates the inherent problems with the program.

The same reasoning explains why fiscal conservatives should not support outright spending of $500 million to bring in Tesla. Tax breaks are one thing, but if the company goes under, there are no "clawbacks" that will get $500 million in outright spending back.

Rio Grande Foundation to Host Bi-Weekly Radio Show on 770 KKOB AM

(Albuquerque, NM) — New Mexico’s only free market think tank, the Rio Grande Foundation, is hosting an hour-long radio show on 770 KKOB starting this Saturday, August 16, from noon to 1pm. The show will air every two weeks through at least the end of 2014. The show, entitled “New Mexico Freedom Hour” will focus on economic and education issues here in New Mexico with an eye towards real solutions that have been tried in other states. The format will involve interviews of guests from across the political spectrum and phone calls from the public. The call-in number is: 505-243-3333. Said Rio Grande Foundation president and primary host, Paul Gessing, “This show offers the listeners a unique forum in which to learn about and discuss the ways in which free markets and limited government can help everyday New Mexicans lead better lives. Show topics will include labor freedom, taxation, education reform, and an economic history of New Mexico to name just a few.

Liberty on the Rocks - Albuquerque

Join the Rio Grande Foundation For an Evening of
Discussion and Fellowship at Liberty on the Rocks!

"Liberty on the Rocks" is a no-host happy hour discussion and information-sharing session.

Liberty on the Rocks will be held at Scalo Northern Italian Grill which is located in Nob Hill at 3500 Central Avenue SE in Albuquerque. A private room has been reserved for this event. In August, Liberty on the Rocks will take place on Thursday, August 21st from 6:00 to 7:30PM.

There is no cost for this public event, but attendees are encouraged to have dinner or drinks. Registration is not required but is much appreciated. Click here to register online ... it's fast and it's free!

Come celebrate liberty with us!

Date: 
2014-08-21 18:00 - 19:30

New Poll shows New Mexicans Overwhelmingly Support Free Association Principles behind Right to Work

(Albuquerque, NM) – The Rio Grande Foundation is one of 77 organizations in 44 states celebrating “National Employee Freedom Week” which lasts from August 10-16. The week marks an occasion to educate workers on their freedom to join or not join a labor union.

There is no more basic freedom enshrined in the United States Constitution than that of free association. That includes the choice not to be forced to join or pay dues to a union as a precondition of employment. This right is protected under “Right to Work” legislation which has been adopted by 24 states, not including New Mexico.

According to a poll of 500-502 respondents conducted by Google Consumer Surveys, approximately 84.7 percent of New Mexicans answered “Yes” to the question: “Should employees have the right to decide, without force or penalty, whether to join or leave a labor union?”

Said Rio Grande Foundation president Paul Gessing, “These poll results illustrate strong support for the basic tenets of a “Right to Work law in New Mexico. No matter how the legislative races pan out in November, there can be no doubt that an overwhelming majority of New Mexicans support the basic principles of “Right to Work.”

Concluded Gessing, “Where implemented, “Right to Work” laws not only protect basic fairness, but they have a proven track record of spurring economic growth and increased employment when adopted. With New Mexico’s economy struggling profoundly, both parties in Santa Fe must consider ‘Right to Work’ as a core component of plans to reform the economy.”

Right to Work Polling image

Rick Hess charter school talk: "Charters must retain flexibility to innovate"

American Enterprise Institute Education expert Rick Hess spoke yesterday at Rio Grande Foundation events in Albuquerque and Roswell. His Albuquerque remarks were video-recorded and are available below. The Albuquerque Journal covered Hess' talk and that article is available here.

Education Expert Rick Hess discusses "Getting Charters Right" from Paul Gessing on Vimeo.

Tough Choices Needed for New Mexico to Take Off


Recently, site-selection expert John Boyd was interviewed about New Mexico’s chances for getting the Tesla “gigafactory.” His comments were very enlightening. He said that manufacturing companies seek reasons to eliminate states when considering where to build major facilities, and the lack of a right to work law is at the top of the list. In the interview, Boyd again reiterated the need for right to work stating, “I can’t underscore how critical right to work status is.”

Unfortunately, despite polling data (recently released by Rio Grande Foundation) showing that nearly 85 percent of New Mexicans support such laws, they are controversial. In reality, such laws merely prohibit unions and employers teaming up to force new employees to join a union as a condition of employment.

While most people see voluntary association as an American birthright, many unions see it as a dire threat to their funding and political power. So they kill it every year in its first committee in Santa Fe.

Equally problematic is the “go-along” attitude of so many of New Mexico’s business leaders. With 6,000 Tesla jobs hanging in the balance, the need for our legislature to pass a right-to-work law should have been a centerpiece of the recent “Reinventing Our City” conference on Albuquerque’s economy, but it was hardly mentioned by the business and community leaders who spoke at the meeting. To be fair, Mayor Berry has repeatedly noted the importance of right to work in other venues.
Any serious discussion of how to turn around New Mexico’s economy must focus on big, difficult issues like right to work, serious tax reform and a dramatic rethinking of the way in which we educate our children and prepare them for the competitive 21 st century workforce.

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