Duel in the Desert debate video

The video of last night's "Duel in the Desert" debate between myself and former gubernatorial candidate Alan Webber is now up:

9-8-14 Duel in Desert: Paul Gessing and Alan Webber debate the New Mexico Economy (moderated by Gene Grant) from Paul Gessing on Vimeo.

In case you missed it, we also had "dueling" opinion pieces that are now posted at NM Policy Debate.

While the crowd was definitely, pro-Webber, no matter which side of the debate you fall on, the New Mexico economy is the single most important issue facing our state. I was gratified to see hundreds of people show up to hear a discussion of the issues. It was a great opportunity to present the Rio Grande Foundation's vision of a more economically-free New Mexico to a new group. Definitely not "preaching to the choir."

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, September 18th 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: 
2014-09-18 18:00 - 19:30

Local, National, Global: Paul Gessing interview on the NM economy

I recently sat down with Jamai Haquani of the Albuquerque-area public access show Local, National, Global to discuss New Mexico's struggling economy and what can be done about it. See part 1 of the interview below:

part 2:

part 3:

This week on the “New Mexico Freedom Hour”: What is Texas doing right economically? What can we learn from their success?

Texas continues to outpace the nation in jobs and economic growth. New Mexico, on the other hand, lags dramatically behind the region and the nation.

Rather than focusing on New Mexico's woes, this week on the "New Mexico Freedom Hour" presented by the Rio Grande Foundation which airs next on Saturday, August 30, 2014 from 12pm to 1pm on 770 KKOB AM, we'll focus on understanding what Texas does so well when it comes to economic development and job growth. Of course, we'll also plug our guest for ideas on what New Mexico could do to compete with the Lone Star State.

Host Paul Gessing will interview Chuck DeVore, Vice President of Policy with the Texas Public Policy Foundation. DeVore is author of "The Texas Model: Prosperity in the Lone Star State and Lessons for America."

Listeners are encouraged not only to tune in and listen, but to call in with questions: 505-243-3333.

RGF president Paul Gessing's recent discussion of oil and gas and New Mexico's economy

I recently sat down with Wally Drangmeister of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association to discuss New Mexico's economy and how it depends on the oil and gas industry as well as potential ways to use the industry as a bridge to a more prosperous economy. The show originally aired on the Energy New Mexico Hour which airs on Sunday mornings from 10 to 11am. Take a listen here.

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.

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