Polling supports pro-freedom ideas too

Recently, former NM State Senator had a column in the Albuquerque Journal in which he laid out several long-standing liberal priorities: a higher minimum wage, gun control, caps on interest rates for payday loans, campaign finance reform, and term limits. I like former Sen. Fischmann and we agree on several things (including term limits), but he conveniently omits a number of free market policy reforms that also poll well, but have failed to gain traction (mostly in the Democrat-controlled New Mexico Senate) in recent years.

*70 percent of New Mexicans support adoption of a”right to work” law
*68 percent support reducing worker’s compensation benefits when workers show up drunk or stoned on the job and injure themselves.
*No less than 62 percent support school choice tax credits.

These are just a few significant free market issues that have polled well. I’d like to see if the public thinks the Legislature should act to explicitly allow ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft to operate in New Mexico. Legislation on that also died in the New Mexico Senate. I’ll bet it is a strong majority though.

As much as I like polling and finding out what the public wants, we don’t have a direct democracy. Government is not run on polls alone. And then there are the ambiguities of polling. For example on the minimum wage: once job losses due to minimum wage hikes are mentioned (and we know jobs are lost when minimum wages rise), support for raising the minimum wage reverses as shown below. Polling can be helpful and we’d definitely like to see some of these free market ideas voted on (at least), but implementing public policy isn’t as easy as just doing a poll.