Finally, Paul and Wally make their predictions for 2021:
First, with the Legislature meeting, what will happen on Pot legalization, mandatory paid sick leave, tax hikes, do they attack oil and gas directly? What about another minimum wage hike? Will reforms to Social Security or the GRT happen? Will the Legislature vote to tap the permanent fund and if so, will they simply spend more on ECE or will they do something more/better? Will the Legislature pass and will effective limits on the Gov’s power in an emergency be put in place?
Will kids be back in school in-person this spring? How about this fall?
Given the uniqueness of 2020 it is VERY interesting to see where people are moving to and from. But, while 2020 was a very unique year, 2020 mostly saw the continuation of a trend that saw high tax “blue” (politically-speaking) states like New Jersey, New York, California, and Illinois continue to lose people while more economically-free (both long-term and in terms of the Virus), lower-cost states like Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Arizona were among the biggest gainers in terms of population.
Fast-growing “blue” Oregon is an enigma but we suspect Californians may be moving in numbers due to its relatively lower costs.
The following data for New Mexico from the report show that New Mexico tends to attract older retirees and those moving for “lifestyle” reasons. Younger people and those moving for jobs or family are less likely to choose New Mexico.
Update: there is a similar report from Allied Van Lines. It largely reflects the trends found in the report above and can be found here:
That means that far from being a breath of fresh air, 2021 will simply mean “more of the same” for New Mexico as it will be locked down and your freedoms will remain “on hiatus” until September as Scrase states in the article.
One of the many problems with such statements is that they don’t give us any useful information. For starters:
What about spring sports for New Mexico student/athletes?
Are there other businesses or cultural events you worry might be lost completely OR lost for a 2nd-consecutive year thanks to the Gov. and her heavy-handed COVID policies? Send us a note: email@example.com
On this week’s interview podcast, Paul sits down with Doug Messier of the space privatization website Parabolic Arc. They discuss the recent aborted launch at Spaceport America, corruption issues with the facility’s leadership, and management changes at Virgin Galactic. There are many issues and challenges as Virgin Galactic HOPES to launch in 2021.
When it comes to writing a history of 2020 there is no question that COVID 19 is THE dominant issue. The real question is (as we have seen after every crisis) to what extent government will grow and freedom will recede when the Virus no longer predominates.
With that, Wally and Paul review 2020 starting in “the olden days” of January 2020 with a “normal” New Mexico legislative session and a massive budget surplus and take us through the year’s events and right back up to the present.
On this week’s podcast, Paul interviews Dean Stansel. Dean is a Research Associate Professor at the Bridwell Institute for Economic Freedom in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, but the main topic of the discussion is the 2020 version of the Fraser Institute’s Index of Economic Freedom of North America.
New Mexico lags its region dramatically in the Index (coming in at 42nd overall) even though the data in this particular Index are from 2018, the final year of Gov. Susana Martinez’s term in office. Dean and Paul discuss the components of economic freedom and why it matters in alleviating the poverty that is all-too-common in New Mexico.
We have known for decades the extent to which progressives dominate Hollywood. In the age of social media, Hollywood celebrities waste no opportunity to show that they stand with the poor, the downtrodden, and the righteous. But they have a way of showing themselves up as the hypocrites we already know that they are.
Let’s start with “fracking.” Fact: a few years ago, more than 100 Hollywood A-listers signed on to an effort under the banner of Artists Against Fracking to ban hydraulic fracturing. Yet it’s no secret that many of Hollywood’s numerous well-heeled opponents of “fracking” have something of a weakness for private planes and, even in their humbler moments, for large SUVs. It’s not much of an exaggeration to think that some of them probably gobble up more energy in a day than average Americans do in weeks.
Too bad. If the nation follows the advice of Hollywood’s anti-fracking activists, a poor state and its poor residents will be denied the benefits of an important natural resource and simply go without. While fracking remains legal (for now) in New Mexico, Hollywood’s hypocrisy goes far beyond merely advocating against this technology: some of its leading companies have found a way to suck up tax revenues right here in New Mexico that would otherwise be spent on public schools, health care, and other government services.
In an effort to attain the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, New Mexico’s liberal politicians are handing out some of the most generous subsidies available anywhere to Hollywood film companies. That those companies tend to lean liberal is, of course, only a coincidence.
Netflix is the latest production company to bring significant operations to the Land of Enchantment. The streaming company recently announced that it would expand its operations in the state, spending an additional $1 billion in New Mexico over the next 10 years.
That sounds good, but however liberal it may be, the entertainment industry is still the entertainment industry, and the deal comes with a catch. Netflix may be spending in the state, but it will also be receiving a very generous incentive from the New Mexico taxpayer, something of an irony when one-third of the state’s taxes are paid by “wicked” oil and gas.
Netflix (like any film company that operates in New Mexico) is eligible to have 25 percent of its expenses reimbursed by the State. Better yet, the length of the company’s ten-year lease means it “qualifies” under state law to receive an increased reimbursement of 30 percent.
Just to be clear, if Netflix does indeed spend $1 billion over the next decade as it asserts, it could be entitled to checks from the New Mexico Treasury totaling $300 million. If 33.5 percent of New Mexico’s budget comes from oil and gas over that time period, Netflix alone will effectively be receiving $100 million directly from the oil and gas industry.
Of course, if the “keep-it-in-the-ground” wing of the Democratic Party prevails and bans fracking on New Mexico’s federal lands, the state’s oil and gas revenues could plummet, forcing the State’s other taxpayers to pick up more of the bill for Netflix or triggering some sort of crisis in its relationship with the company
Unfortunately, when it comes to subsidies for Netflix, $300 million is just the down payment. The state is also fronting another $17 million in direct incentives to Netflix while the City of Albuquerque is coughing up another $7 million. These funds come from something called the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA), commonly referred to as a “closing fund.” These are payments made by state or local governments to preferred industries. One might believe that in a state as poor as New Mexico (consistently among the nation’s poorest) that taxpayers picking up the bill for 30 percent of a profitable corporation’s business expenses would be enough.
As things seem at the moment, Netflix is going to continue to grow and over time it should create more jobs in New Mexico. That will generate all the usual headlines about how great the company is for the state and its economy, but it will come at a tremendous cost. That cost is not just in lost revenue, but in tax rebates borne primarily by state taxpayers. This subsidy is both unfair and unsustainable.
As one of Hollywood’s biggest businesses, Netflix is a member of that elite group of publicly traded stocks known as the FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google). Netflix flaunts its rapidly growing profitability, but it is still prepared to consume massive taxpayer subsidies not only from one of the poorest states in the country, but from a state that can only afford to pay out those generous subsidies thanks to the revenues it receives from the oil and gas industry that so much of Hollywood condemns.
Senator Bernie Sanders is still a hero to many in the entertainment industry and, to be fair, he at least takes a principled approach to such corporate welfare. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many in Hollywood and Democratic politicians like New Mexico governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. She has locked our state in to paying Netflix outrageous sums of money over the next decade at a time of great uncertainty for New Mexico and its economic outlook and thrown away the key. That much of that uncertainty comes from her own party only piles irony upon irony.
Paul Gessing is president of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Foundation. The Rio Grande Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan, tax-exempt research and educational organization dedicated to promoting prosperity for New Mexico based on principles of limited government, economic freedom and individual responsibility
I attended the Christmas Eve service held at 3pm with my family. It was definitely “not legal” under the Gov.’s orders, but overwhelming majorities of attendees DID have masks on and seating was in every other row. I actually watched the proceedings outside near a lovely and warm fire but my entire family watched inside and no one is sick or showing signs of illness five days after the fact.
I don’t know where this all goes next. I for one would be willing to let the Gov. send the police in and force them to arrest me and others. It has gotten to that point. By the way, if others don’t want to attend church or go out in public, they have every right to live that way. It is none of my business. But, if I want to keep living my life that is called freedom and it is something Americans used to care for.
I don’t have pictures of church. My kids took their masks off for pictures with Santa after church though. Also, Skip’s sermon was great. I’m new to Calvary. As a frustrated Catholic I have enjoyed my experience so far at Calvary services and events.