Day 21: Regulatory Conclusions

Over-regulation is a serious problem for New Mexico’s economy. Nonetheless, given the diversity and multi-faceted impacts of regulations, it is impossible to come to a conclusion on the overall economic impact if all of the regulations discussed here were eliminated or reformed. No one predicted the rise of discount airlines like Southwest, Frontier, JetBlue and others in the wake of airline deregulation. Nor did the micro-brew industry come about immediately after that industry was deregulated, rather it took nearly two decades to hit its stride.

It is also worth noting that not all of these regulations have an obvious, immediate impact in terms of dollars and cents. Allowing alternative teacher certification, for example, may allow dozens or even hundreds of retired employees of the Sandia and Los Alamos Labs to get into the classroom as highly-knowledgeable teachers. These people and their hands-on expertise in various scientific fields could have a tremendous impact on New Mexico students in the field of science, thus raising our educational performance measures and making New Mexico a more attractive place to do business.

Unfortunately, you never know until you try. The more potentially-impactful the deregulation would be, the more powerful the special interest that attained that preference in the first place. Unions, incumbent businesses, and those whose jobs are made more secure and less competitive due to professional licensing will all fight hard against deregulation in their industries.

Adopting any of the regulatory reforms outlined above would increase economic freedom and spur economic growth in the Land of Enchantment. Additionally, New Mexico’s Legislature should consider adopting legislation, along the lines of SB 311 which passed Indiana’s Legislature in bi-partisan fashion during the 2012 session and would require cost-benefit analysis for new regulations.1


See the full regulation report here.