According to recent reports, the New Mexico Legislature held hearings on some kind of “guaranteed basic income” for New Mexico. At this point we’re going to reserve judgement for a more detailed proposal although we did post something relating to Santa Fe’s “fake” experiment with such a program.
Here are a few thoughts:
- Will this replace or augment existing welfare programs? Obviously we prefer a replacement rather than an increase;
- How will this impact New Mexico’s already high unemployment rate and low workforce participation rates?
- Will it be given to ALL New Mexicans or just the “poor”?
- Will it resemble Alaska’s “dividend” program which is funded through that State’s “Permanent Fund?”
Unlike a lot of redistribution schemes coming out of Santa Fe we’re not going to dismiss this one out-of-hand. There are certainly right and wrong approaches to this issue.