© 2016 Jim Spence - New Mexico is a beautiful state. I have lived here since I was ten years old minus a brief excursion to South Florida my senior year of high school in 1974. Having traveled extensively in the United States, there is no doubt the weather in the high desert of New Mexico is, except for coastal California, the most accommodating of all. And of course the problems with coastal California begin with the millions of people who realized long ago how great the weather is there. Millions of people have clogged California with humanity to the point that most people who live there manage their entire lives around the traffic cycles not the wonderful weather.
Beyond our lovely weather and the beautiful scenery, we have all sorts of nice choices for places to live in New Mexico. You can live in the mountains, in the foothills, on the plains, or in the river valleys. We have urban areas and rural areas.
New Mexico is also blessed with vast natural resources. In both the southeast and northwest regions of this state there have been billions of dollars in energy extracted from underneath the ground and trillions more to be produced in the decades ahead. Our state also has abundant and productive farm and ranch lands. And the snow packed mountains in the north provide ample water supplies. Thanks to our geographic location we avoid earthquakes and the brunt of hurricanes. Most of the state is shielded from tornados. Blizzards are a rarity, particularly in the southern portion of the state. In short, New Mexico has been dealt a tremendous hand.
Here are the state rankings for some of the most important quality of life measures: New Mexico ranks 46th in per capita income. New Mexico ranks 48th in education achievement. New Mexico ranks 49th in violent crimes, and New Mexico ranks 49th in unemployment. New Mexico is one of just two states in America where more than 20% of the population is on food stamps. New Mexico has mismanaged its water gathering and distribution system to the point that it has perpetual problems with water supplies for agriculture.
What happened to the wonderful “hand” we were dealt? The explanation is pretty simple. No matter how good your hand is, you have to manage your resources intelligently and keep managing them. When you look at our bordering states (Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas) you see a long history of vastly superior resource management when compared to New Mexico. The results are unmistakable. These states do much better by virtually every measure.
Before we ask “why” have those who have been managing New Mexico squandered our great hand; we should be asking this…..who are these people who have been in charge?
A ten minute look at the history books is all that is needed to provide the answer. Essentially the Democrats took over the State of New Mexico in 1931. Since 1931 Democrats have controlled the House of Representatives in our state for 81 of 85 years. The Republicans had a majority by a single member way back in 1953-54, and then remained out of power in the House until 2015. Unfortunately, when Republicans finally took control of the House in 2015 the Senate, which has obstructed the reform efforts of Governor Martinez at every turn, has remained firmly in control of Democrats. A look at the history of New Mexico Senate reveals the same story. Since 1933, Democrats have controlled the Senate for all but 2 of those 83 years. And since the early 1930’s New Mexico has had more than twice as many Democrats as governors versus Republicans. In short, New Mexico has been a one party state for 85 years. When you ask who has been mismanaging this state the answer is simple. Democrats run this state.
The political story is much different in the states bordering New Mexico. In Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas, where virtually every quality of life measure shows that vastly superior results have been achieved, Republicans have been given many opportunities to manage the resources.The point here is pretty simple. Democrats continue to whine constantly about Republicans in New Mexico. They do so with the unwavering assistance of every media outlet in the state as well as the faculty at every public education facility. Don’t expect public education to actually educate people about who has been running New Mexico for all these decades. And don't expect them to point to the sorry results that Democrats have foisted on the people. Still, the facts don’t change regardless of a stacked media and public education system. The Democrats own the upper forty rankings in terms of quality of life issues that plague New Mexico despite all of our built in advantages.
The bottom line? The Democratic Party has been dealt four aces for the last 85 years in New Mexico. The Democratic Party has found a way to lose and lose badly on behalf of the people it claims to “care” more about despite holding a winning hand. Pitiful.