New Mexico comes in 51st…again…and West Virginia considers “right to work”

It used to be that New Mexicans could say “Thank God for Mississippi…or West Virginia…or whatever.” As oil and gas prices have dropped, federal spending has shifted to “entitlements,” and the Democrat-controlled NM Senate has remained staunchly-opposed to needed reforms, the new mantra for New Mexico my be “New Mexico….we’re 51st.”

That was already the case recently when a national construction trade group labeled New Mexico the dead-worst place for the construction trades in the USA putting us even behind Washington, DC. Among the factors included in the report was “right to work” and “prevailing wage laws,” both of which New Mexico remains on the wrong side of thanks to the State Senate. And, as if losing to Washington, DC, wasn’t bad enough, our neighbor, Arizona, placed first.

Now, we have the November unemployment rates placing New Mexico…wait for it…51st (again). At 6.8 percent, New Mexico’s rate is higher than that of Washington, DC or West Virginia. Notably, West Virginians, realizing that their previously-blue state is in dire economic straits thanks to the Obama Administration’s “war on coal,” are seriously looking at becoming the nation’s 26th “right to work” state. 

It would be great if West Virginia and New Mexico which have a great deal in common economically despite very different cultures, became the next two “right to work” states as a means of kick-starting their respective economies.