The Liberal Blue View From the Left
Author: Alan WebberDemocratic primary candidate for Governor
Then there’s the economy. That’s worse. It’s so bad we’re losing people. That’s terrible. After all the calls for a “closing fund” to lure big companies into our state, less than one-fifth of the money has been spent. We can’t even bribe companies to come here! That’s bad strategy and even worse implementation.
The Conservative Red View From the Right
Author: Paul GessingPresident, Rio Grande Foundation
The unemployment rate is now 2nd-highest in the nation. Again, not good, but we didn’t get to this point overnight. Our State has never had much of a private sector. Our economy was built on two things: extractive industries and federal spending. Neither of these is as stable as it once was.
Unfortunately, when presented with several options for spurring New Mexico’s private sector, the Democrat-controlled State Senate blocked myriad reforms.
In 2003 New Mexico’s unemployment rate was 4.9%. Today it’s 6.5%. Same dependency on energy (including renewables), tourism, agriculture, film and entertainment, small and medium-sized businesses. The State Auditor says we’ve got billions—billions!—of unspent capital improvement dollars to put people to work on critical infrastructure projects. That’s not political ideology; that’s managerial incompetence.
Speaking of infrastructure: Where’s high-speed internet for the whole state? Every business today needs that. Why have we had 7 years of declining travel out of the Sunport? You want a private sector economy? Business people have to be able to get here.
Paul, this is too depressing! Isn’t there some good news?
No amount of capital outlay spending is going to turn around our economy, we need real policy reforms. Speaking of broadband, in the 2015 legislative session a bill to reduce onerous regulations on telecom providers was introduced on a bi-partisan basis by Rep. Maestas-Barnes (R) & Sen. Padilla (D). The bill would have made it more cost-effective for the State’s leading broadband provider to expand its network. The Senate Majority Leader did not even move the bill for a vote.
This has been par for the course in New Mexico. We don’t need government-run broadband (or bigger government in general). We just need to get government off the necks of private sector providers.
Courtesy ABQ Free Press