When Welfare Beats Work

“It’s the same, same — nobody wants to work. They work for two weeks to qualify for the benefits paid by New Mexico and then turn around and disappear. I’m up to 109 hires in 2 1/2 years.”

Fans of “public investments,” heed the warning offered by Earlene Durand, owner of a café in Taos. In an interview with the local weekly, she lamented her inability to secure reliable workers. Kudos to The Taos News for exploring “employees showing up late” and “not showing up at all”:

Many business owners in Taos have been reluctant to voice their concerns on the record … due to damage it could do to them within the small community and because, as one owner puts it, “Taos is not ready for the truth.” Whatever the reason for not speaking up, many have the same issues they voice to the [Taos Chamber of Commerce], social media and other outlets — they have a hard time finding reliable, punctual and hardworking employees. Off the record, managers say they’ve let employees go due to drug use, a general lack of work ethic and a complete lack of punctuality. Several types of industry are affected by this issue in Taos, including customer service, retail and trade work.

In 2013, the Cato Institute found that the value of major welfare programs — including food stamps, Medicaid, and housing subsidies — covered 92.9 percent of New Mexico’s median salary.

Source: “The Work Versus Welfare Trade-Off,” Cato Institute, 2013

Business owners in one of New Mexico’s most important resort towns have confirmed that for many, welfarism is a way of life. Is anyone in state government listening?

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2 Replies to “When Welfare Beats Work”

  1. I believe the best description of the northern New Mexico mindset is still “the Milagro Beanfield War.” An ancient Hispanic population that is still fighting the Mexican American War. Many believe that their ancestors’ land was stolen by the Anglo after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and are still trying to get even. Milking the welfare system is a way of getting back for real or perceived injustices. To state the obvious, this behavior has been encouraged by single party Dem rule at the state level in NM since 1931.

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