With the drumbeat of bad economic news continuing in the Land of Enchantment, the pronouncements of its leading economic analysts and journalists take on added importance. Winthrop Quigley is the business and economics reporter at the state’s largest newspaper. He’s also by no means a “knee-jerk” free market adherent…but he may be coming around a bit if today’s column is any indicator.
Quigley reiterates the need for New Mexico to ween itself off of dependence on Washington. As the following chart illustrates, entitlements are consuming more of the budget while defense and other priorities are consuming a smaller portion of the budget. This is bad news for a state like New Mexico.
Quigley accurately notes that the Democrats’ assertions that raising the minimum wage are, to say the least, not going to lead to stronger economic growth.
I don’t know why Quigley thinks that a state-controlled investment fund is required to spur economic growth in New Mexico considering that New Mexico already has the third-largest such fund among US states.
Finally, Quigley states “I have some sympathy for right-to-work laws, but some folks are expecting too much from right to work.” Rio Grande Foundation has been at the forefront in studying/promoting the benefits a Right to Work law could have for New Mexico. Is such a law going to magically turn New Mexico’s economy around? It is hard to say, but adoption would be a serious first step and it must be part of any serious reform agenda.
Returning control of some of our federal lands would have a tremendous impact as would the expansion of LNG exports (even Tom Udall gets this).