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.

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10 Replies to “Polling supports pro-freedom ideas too”

  1. What voters want doesn’t matter when incumbent legislators are re-elected without opposition. I am effectively disenfranchised because my representatives in the senate, house and city council have no electoral competition. Unless Republicans can field a serious candidate in every legislative district, we will continue to have a one-and-a-half-party system in New Mexico.

    1. James A. McClure: You strike me as just the sort of “serious candidate” the Republican Party is looking for. You could kill two birds with one stone by running for the State Legislature. Have at it.

  2. Democrats in this state could vote themselves down a sewer hole and they still would blame Republicans if they could still find one.

  3. Perhaps the Mayor and City Council should do some polling about how much we want our money spent on that silly bus lane down Central. I think they’d find it’s not a very popular or practical use of taxpayer dollars!

  4. Re the poll questions on raising the minimum wage: What if raising the minimum wage would save taxpayers billions in welfare payments?

    1. I’m not sure how that would work, Lee. There isn’t a magic money tree at any of these businesses. For every employee they pay a little more under a minimum wage, they will reduce the hours or eliminate another worker. That doesn’t do much for the welfare situation.

  5. That was not my question. It was a question to ask voters under Americans favor raising the minimum wage unless it cost jobs. – – – unless it saved billions in taxes. However, what data is available that shows the effect of raising the minimum wage in the past?

  6. See also:

    Cato Institute’s Policy Analysis of the American Welfare State

    object.cato.org/sites/Cato.org/files/pubs/Pdf/PA694.pdf

    Increase of children in poverty

    nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/pdf/coe-cce.pdf.

    These websites are questionable, sorry, but the data isn’t.

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