October 25, 2016

The futility of New Mexico’s Jobs Council

Photo Credit: Reinis Traidas cc

New Mexicans are desperate for some good economic news (see the grasping for straws over the Facebook “success”).

Paul Gessing is the president of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Foundation, a libertarian-oriented think tank based in New Mexico.

Rio Grande Foundation President Paul Gessing

Rio Grande Foundation President Paul Gessing

Unfortunately, the path forward involves making hard and politically-difficult moves that involve standing up to special interest groups whether they be the unions, the film industry, or business advocates for more “corporate welfare” like LEDA and JTIP (to name just a few). Unfortunately, the free market path to reform isn’t going to be the first choice of a Council stocked with dozens of politicians and interest group representatives.

So, according to today’s Albuquerque Journal, here is what they came up with followed by a brief statement added by the author:

Expanding broadband access: This CAN be done by removing regulatory barriers, but we know they are really looking for tax dollars (that we don’t have);

Marketing New Mexico to retirees: An obvious idea because retirees don’t NEED jobs and New Mexico has nice weather. Fine idea as far as it goes, but it really isn’t a jobs creation strategy unless you work in food-service or retirement homes;

Expanding the state’s film incentive program: This costs money which we don’t have andstudy after study says film subsidies are money-losers.

Enacting or broadening tax breaks, including one for out-of-state investors: New Mexico has enacted numerous such incentives over the years with dubious results. Perhaps it is time for real tax reform?

Ironically, the many coordinating the Jobs Council was quoted as saying that New Mexico was atrisk of a “death spiral” if it continued “business as usual.” Unfortunately, “right to work,” real school choice, and tax/regulatory reform were never going to come from this “Jobs Council.”