Construction industry loves Arizona & hates New Mexico

A new report put out called the “>Associated Builders and Contractors gives neighboring Arizona the nation’s highest marks among US states, but ranks New Mexico an astonishing 51st in the nation.

The story is written up hear by the folks at BizJournals and is called the Merit Shop Scorecard. It is worth a look.

New Mexico scored poorly because it is not a “right to work” state. It also has a “Davis-Bacon” prevailing wage law which raises construction prices by giving unions control over labor pricing. Interestingly, New Mexico which is not especially heavily-unionized nonetheless performed even worse in the report than several states like California, Alaska, and Pennsylvania that have much higher unionization rates. Of course, when you get beat by Washington, DC on any policy report card, you are doing A LOT wrong.

The ABC is a an organization whose mission tracks closely with that of the Rio Grande Foundation, but specifically focused on construction as their statement below shows:

According to the ABC, the general merit shop philosophy is based on free enterprise and free market principles, characterized by open and fair competition and diverse, engaged parties. The philosophy supports the concept that employees and employers have the right to determine wages and working conditions as they choose, within the law, and that all branches of government should be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, awarding contracts based solely on merit to the lowest responsible bidder, regardless of labor affiliation.

As even the most passive onlooker of New Mexico’s traditional public policies are aware, this is not the way things have been done in The Land of Enchantment. It has been much to our detriment.

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