‘Economic Development’ or Wishful Thinking?

Next week, the Albuquerque Journal reports, the “state will take part in an expo in Los Angeles … that aims to highlight opportunities for foreign investment in the U.S. aerospace manufacturing sector.”

The event is cosponsored by the Aerospace States Association, which New Mexico joined earlier this month.

But does the Land of Enchantment even qualify as an “aerospace state”?

As determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, 0.654 percent of the nation’s aerospace establishments are based here. They account for 0.195 percent of total employment in the sector.

Jobs in NAICS 336411, “Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing,” have been stagnant in recent years (data are for March):

aerospace

And let’s not even discuss the ongoing disaster that is “Spaceport America.”

This all appears to be another example of the state’s “economic development” brain trust putting the cart before the horse. Shouldn’t fundamental policy reforms — a right-to-work law, lower and simpler taxes, a better education system — be implemented before marketing New Mexico to an industry that, at this point, just isn’t interested?

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