Thoughts on a guaranteed basic income for New Mexico

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:

  1. Will this replace or augment existing welfare programs? Obviously we prefer a replacement rather than an increase;
  2. How will this impact New Mexico’s already high unemployment rate and low workforce participation rates?
  3. Will it be given to ALL New Mexicans or just the “poor”?
  4. 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.
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