Española, NM, border economics and Santa Fe County’s minimum wage

Border regions are fascinating because they often highlight more clearly the impact of good and bad public policies. After all, often, border areas have similar population and geographical characteristics, thus clarifying for the public that economic policies are the ultimate arbiter of economic success (or failure). Nowhere is this more stark than the Korean border where the socialist North is completely dark at night and the capitalist South is bright and active:

Rio Grande Foundation also did some in-depth analysis of border economics a few years ago, but today I’m writing about Española which happens to be partially located in Santa Fe County (which recently raised its minimum wage to $10.66 an hour from just $7.50). Now, according to the Rio Grande Sun, two fast food restaurants in the Santa Fe County portion of town have closed.

Now, as reported in the article there are additional restaurants looking to open (or re-open) in Española, but it would seem likely that these restaurants and other businesses are going to do their best (within the scope of traffic and land-use patterns) to locate themselves outside of Santa Fe County.

HT: Samuel Z. LeDoux