Steve McKee’s talk: How New Mexico Can Beat Texas for Real

New Mexico businessman and entrepreneur Steve McKee was the keynote speaker at a recent Rio Grande Foundation luncheon. He gave an optimistic and detailed talk about the ways in which New Mexico policymakers can turn our state around and even beat Texas in the process. Check out the informative and even inspirational talk below:

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5 Replies to “Steve McKee’s talk: How New Mexico Can Beat Texas for Real”

  1. A lot of rhetoric in his proposals except for taxes.

    But even with taxes, with a state that is in a financial spiral downward, how can the state simply cut it’s taxes by half? I agree that it is a huge impediment to business. But who pays the debt in the meantime? And what if it doesn’t grow?

    The government will not give up its control willingly on school issues, nor will academia with existing teachers. He is spot on about companies considering the school systems available when wanting to make a move and that New Mexico is not attractive. And the big issue, or root cause, seems to be, as he said, at the K-12 level instead of the higher education level. Parents seem to use schools more as babysitting services and the majority do not even attend parent-teacher conferences. Getting them involved for a new program will be very difficult. But most want to play follow the leader…maybe if we can create a couple of small pilots to demonstrate the feasibility we can get them on board. But as Mr. McKee said, the results will take time to manifest themselves.

    The water problem is real and desalination is not an option as it is in Israel. And no, pumping from San Augustine Basin is not an option.

    With more than 43% of New Mexico owned by the federal government, why not insist that it be returned to the state as was the original intention. That would really increase the tax base of the economy.

    A lot of cheerleading, but no real substance in this plans.

    1. I agree that things need to be enacted in stages. Right to work can be done right away and will help. Serious education reform in terms of school choice can help although the government and unions will always exert control. Perhaps the oil and gas water can be part of the solution for our water issues if treated correctly? I personally don’t think the water situation is as dire as people say. We have a water distribution problem. Of course correcting that won’t be easy, but it is political not physical.

      Yes, 43% of New Mexico is owned by the feds, but that is as challenging an issue as applying markets to water.

  2. The effort to pass right-to-work was flawed by Republican attempts to get Democrat support by tying it to an increase in NM’s minimum wage to $8.00 per hour. Talk about “wall of ignorance.”

    While r-t-w has symbolic significance, it’s real world attraction is aimed at large employers. The minimum wage, on the other hand, mostly effects smaller employers, and it too has symbolic significance. It says that poverty is caused by evil-greedy-exploiting-dirty-bastard employers who don’t pay their workers enough.

    While r-t-w is employer friendly, minimum wage laws are employer unfriendly. Naturally, the Democrats said $8.00 wasn’t enough. Not a nice try, Republicans

    1. Right to work was more important by far than the minimum wage if for the simple fact that once a state is RTW, it almost never goes back. Also, while minimum wages are bad for workers and small businesses, they will eventually go up due to the federal government’s policies thus making New Mexico’s relatively small increase irrelevant. I am not going to get into the POLITICS of the issue, but the POLICY is clear and RTW even combined with a modest hike in the minimum wage would have been helpful.

  3. RTW is such a fantasy for New Mexico; it’s only effective if you have a big industrial workforce. New Mexico might be spared those compulsory govt-union dues if the USSC rules later for the plaintiffs in the CEAI case [http://on.wsj.com/1eA6a5g].

    Otherwise, “New Mexico beating Texas”…not while NM still has an income tax.

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