Taxes and Poverty

A few days ago on this blog, I outlined some work the Foundation has been doing on the correlation between poverty and the size of government. In a recent article on the subject that was published in the Albuquerque Tribune, I mentioned New Mexico Voices for Children as a group advocating higher taxes and higher government spending.
Well, their Executive Director Catherine Direen took enough offense to respond with a letter to the editor of her own. While she makes a number of points in her response, mostly dealing with a new study they are touting on the relative level of taxation of New Mexico’s poor people, her last point was the most interesting: “New Mexico is not a poor state because of its tax rate. New Mexico is a poor state because of its history of poor wages.”
If it is really as simple as that — New Mexico is poor because of low wages — then it really is as simple as using government’s coercive power to force those greedy business owners to pay higher wages. There are a number of reasons for New Mexico’s disproportionate poverty levels.
I’d love to have some debates with NM Voices folks for the sake of the Legislature.