Margaret Thatcher and Ladies for Liberty presentations by economist and author John Blundell

The Rio Grande Foundation recently hosted John Blundell for a series of talks on Margaret Thatcher and Ladies for Liberty. Video of the Thatcher presentation is below:

3-26-13 Blundell on Thatcher from Paul Gessing on Vimeo.

The Ladies for Liberty presentation can be found here:

Blundell Ladies for Liberty from Paul Gessing on Vimeo.

Rio Grande Foundation Analysis Finds New Mexico’s Public Sector Workers Earn More than Private Sector

(Albuquerque) Responding to the ongoing debate over whether to increase state government employee pay in New Mexico, the Rio Grande Foundation has produced a new report, “Public v. Private Sector: Income Differences in New Mexico” that attempts to create an “apples to apples” comparison of the overall compensation of workers in the public and private sectors.

According to the Foundation’s analysis, New Mexico government workers are paid an 8.6 percent premium over their private sector counterparts.

“It is widely known and reflected in our report,” notes policy analyst Ben Sugg, “that government workers give up some upfront pay in exchange for more generous health care, pension, and time-off/retirement. The question is whether those ‘fringe benefits’ lead to relatively higher pay for workers in New Mexico’s state government or not.”

The Rio Grande Foundation analysis used a statistical technique called “Regression Analysis” in order to better understand the differences in pay among various types of workers. Regression analysis is a statistical technique for estimating the relationships among variables. In this paper, it is used to account for the relevant differences between state and private sector workers.

According to the report’s findings using regression analysis, despite having not received a raise since 2008, New Mexico’s public sector workers remain better-paid overall than their equivalents in the private sector. That difference is 8.6 percent. Read the brief for yourself here.   

Freedom Index Update: "How's Freedom Faring during the 2013 Legislative Session?"

With just a few weeks left in the 2013 legislative session, the wheat is beginning to separate from the chaff among legislators in terms of pro-and anti-freedom votes in the New Mexico Legislature.

Click here to access the site.

The good news is that two bills (both of them positive in terms of freedom) have passed both houses at this point.
Under the “Index Summary” tab, you can see how many points, positive or negative, your legislator has earned so far this session;

Under the “Compare Parties” tab you can find out which of the two parties in Santa Fe are voting FOR freedom and which are voting AGAINST freedom;

The “Legislators” tab allows you to look at details of each legislator;

The “Legislator Record” allows users to see which bills are included in the analysis and whether they are pro or anti-freedom;

The “Rated Legislation” tab allows users to access analyses for each bill included in the report and better understand the ratings.

Unfortunately, not much in the way of needed reforms has passed out of either house this session to date. Fewer bills have made it through both houses.

And, so far, the following priorities have either been killed completely or are on “life support.”

No “Right to Work;”

No pro-business tax reforms;

No serious effort at deregulation;

No school choice; and

No serious education reforms;

Our tracking site called “Freedom Index” allows users to see how all members of both parties are voting on freedom issues. More importantly, users (including legislators) can find out how pro-or anti-freedom various pending bills are.

With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, a lot can happen. We’re not impressed with the lack of action on some of the big economic and educational problems facing the state, but we remain hopeful that some additional pro-freedom reforms can take place in the closing days of the session. Be sure to contact your legislators to share your views with them.

Freedom Index Update: "How's Freedom Faring during the 2013 Legislative Session?"

With just a few weeks left in the 2013 legislative session, the wheat is beginning to separate from the chaff among legislators in terms of pro-and anti-freedom votes in the New Mexico Legislature.

Click here to access the site.

The good news is that two bills (both of them positive in terms of freedom) have passed both houses at this point.
Under the “Index Summary” tab, you can see how many points, positive or negative, your legislator has earned so far this session;

Under the “Compare Parties” tab you can find out which of the two parties in Santa Fe are voting FOR freedom and which are voting AGAINST freedom;

The “Legislators” tab allows you to look at details of each legislator;

The “Legislator Record” allows users to see which bills are included in the analysis and whether they are pro or anti-freedom;

The “Rated Legislation” tab allows users to access analyses for each bill included in the report and better understand the ratings.

Unfortunately, not much in the way of needed reforms has passed out of either house this session to date. Fewer bills have made it through both houses.

And, so far, the following priorities have either been killed completely or are on “life support.”

No “Right to Work;”

No pro-business tax reforms;

No serious effort at deregulation;

No school choice; and

No serious education reforms;

Our tracking site called “Freedom Index” allows users to see how all members of both parties are voting on freedom issues. More importantly, users (including legislators) can find out how pro-or anti-freedom various pending bills are.

With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, a lot can happen. We’re not impressed with the lack of action on some of the big economic and educational problems facing the state, but we remain hopeful that some additional pro-freedom reforms can take place in the closing days of the session. Be sure to contact your legislators to share your views with them.

Interviews on New Mexico's legislative session with KRWG TV in Las Cruces

In the days prior to the 2013 legislative session I visited Fred Martino at KRWG TV in Las Cruces to discuss the legislative session. We taped two segments of the program that recently aired and our now available online. See the segments below:

Paul Gessing's recent appearance on KOB 4's "Eye on New Mexico"

Along with Pat Davis of the left-leaning ProgressNow New Mexico, I discuss the minimum wage hikes being considered in the Legislature and the potential for compromise on a variety of controversial issues in Santa Fe. (the opening screen lasts about 1 minute).

Eye on New Mexico February 17, 2013 from Paul Gessing on Vimeo.

Voters want clinics, not UNMH Hospital expansion

In recent months, the University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) has proposed building a $146 million expansion. In our view there should be specific criteria on the use of taxpayer money for new construction. UNMH should meet these criteria which include: Does the public want it and, in a world of limited resources, is the proposed project our highest priority?

To find out whether BernalilloCounty voters share our concerns about the proposed hospital expansion, we asked them and found that voters don’t think the hospital is a top priority and that they do want more accountability when major projects like this are considered.

According to the Utah polling firm NSON, only 15% of the registered voters in BernalilloCounty would make the building of a new hospital a priority. The public’s main priority, with 46% support, was to have more health clinics for the poor throughout the County. Even a new psychiatric hospital with behavioral health services got more support, at 16%, than the building of a new hospital. Still others wanted drug and alcohol rehabilitation services (10%). The poll was conducted January 13-16 with 400 registered voters in BernalilloCounty with a margin of error of 4.9%.

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