Thursday, November 20, 2014
Berry And The Business Beat; Is It All The Feds Fault? Plus: The Dream Realized: Our Very Own Chicharrone Paddle
We sit down fairly regularly with companies and they say, 'We can't come to New Mexico without a right-to-work status.
And those companies are?
Not only are very few companies relocating to New Mexico--for reasons far more involved than a right-to-work law--but ABQ is seeing a crash in the number of new businesses being formed. In 2010--Berry's first full year as Mayor--there were 4,721 business licenses issued. In 2014 that number had crashed to 3,439. But when Berry is Governor (you heard about that, right?) all that will all turn around. . . Sure. . .
Berrynomics sums up the cause of our woes this way:
Over the last six, seven, decades, our entire economy has become reliant on government. We're a company town centered on government," he said. "And that's going away."
It may be suffering cutbacks, but it is not going away. Billions continue to flow into Sandia Labs and Los Alamos labs and billions more in other federal dollars. It's convenient to blame the entire malaise on the Feds. It relieves local policy makers of any responsibility. . .
A reader writes of the state's and ABQ's economic strategy--or the lack thereof:
If you want to see what it means to shift from a high-skills, high wage economy to a low wage, low skills economy, just say goodbye Emcore (the go-to example of a company born at Sandia Labs and manufacturing high-technology products) and hello Comcast call-center (low wages, nominal skills, highly mobile). What does it say about our state's leadership when we celebrate low-wage low skills jobs and sit slack-jawed while the headquarters of a NM incubated high-tech manufacturer leaves the state? Does anyone realistically think that Bingaman, Domenici, Richardson or Chavez would have just sat around and watched Emcore leave without a fight? No way. Also, in the long-run, what’s our strategy for getting these high-tech companies back? Cut more corporate taxes, cut more services, offer more loopholes, invest less in education, have a workforce that cannot read or write? Then maybe not even the call-centers will come our way. I just don’t see the strategy. . .
THE KANSAS FACTOR
Reader Vicki Farrar in ABQ writes of our Wednesday blog in which soon-to-be state House Speaker Don Tripp was less than enthusiastic about more tax cuts:
I think Don Tripp is seeing what happens when ideology rules the actions of lawmakers in the face of reality. He probably is watching the Kansas melt-down and knows what devastation a tax-cutting agenda has on state budgets and essential services. As a small business owner he probably “gets it” over many of the corporate Republicans. If the vast majority of your state is populated by low-wage , under-employed, and unemployed consumers, your business revenues suffer (not to mention the increase in social needs that need to be met by state-services that gobble up tax revenues). Perhaps the state lawmakers who will have to pass a budget are finally understanding that you can spend money on education, mental health and substance abuse programs, and job-training as a priority--or you can spend it on more police, jails and prisons as New Mexico continues to suffer under a poor economy.
HERE AND THERE
Roll Call takes a look at the rise of northern Dem Congressman Ben Ray Lujan from milking cows on the family farm to milking votes as the new chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. . .It's down to 789. That's the tiny lead Republican Aubrey Dunn, Jr. sports over incumbent Dem Land Commissioner Ray Powell. It will go to a recount November 25.
A DREAM REALIZED
In a rare move, the Committee gave Garza permission to present us with this beautiful chicarrone paddle carved by Jesus Contreras. (God forbid if it were a metal paddle. Use of such a paddle would disqualify me from blogging of La Politica. And any political candidate caught using one has never gone on to be elected.) No, this paddle is the real deal. Now we are ready to crash the matanzas and start stirring. Our used blue jeans and stained UNM Lobo football jersey, proper stirring attire, are on order.
Thanks Leo and AARP (where we recently spoke) for making this possible. We pledge to use this distinctive paddle only at events sanctioned by the Committee on Chicharrones. We understand violation of that rule as well as loaning out the paddle to any aspiring politicians will result in confiscation of the paddle and in its immediate return to Mr. Garza. Okay, with that out of the way, it's time to get some red ready for those chicharrones.
This is the home of New Mexico politics.
Interested in reaching New Mexico's most informed audience? Advertise here.
(c)NM POLITICS WITH JOE MONAHAN 2014. Not for reproduction without permission of the author