If businesses don't want to come to New Mexico, nobody's gonna stop 'em

© 2014 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. - "If people don't want to come out to the ball park, nobody's gonna stop 'em." Yogi Berra
      Likewise, if businesses don't want to come to New Mexico, nobody's gonna stop 'em. This Thanksgiving we pause to count our blessing. Many of us have many blessings to count. But some New Mexicans are not as fortunate because New Mexico is not a business-friendly state. Many New Mexicans are long-term unemployed.
      New Mexico is government-friendly. The number of government jobs is amazing. However, the private sector is not as blessed. So while we wipe the butter from our lips from our Thanksgiving dinner and say our blessings, we must confront the part of New Mexico that needs help: private businesses.
      Those of us in business are aware of anti-business attitudes but most New Mexicans refuse to see these actions as harmful. Business unfriendly means the government; state, county and local, makes it harder to conduct business in New Mexico than it needs to be.
      Often government makes it harder to do business in New Mexico than in competing states. We rarely know about businesses who thought about moving their operation to New Mexico but upon investigation decided to move to a different state. But it would seems lots of businesses are not coming.
      Part of the problem is governance which makes things harder on businesses than it needs to be. There are inspectors who can dispirit businesses with over doing regulations and enforcement.
      Example: every restaurant owner knows the state inspectors can close them any day. No one can endure a really rigorous inspection. But for the humanity of the inspector, every New Mexico restaurant is red-tagged and closed.
      And part of the problem in New Mexico is finding a professional workforce ready, willing and able to work for a new business. A man asks a friend, "How's your wife?" The friend replies, "Compared to what?"
      Everything that happens in a workforce is compared to other workforces. Both Albuquerque and Santa Fe have higher minimum wages which is a barrier to a first job by young people. There are many young people who are in their twenties and still have not had a first job. Employers want workers with a work history to predict how they will work.Read full column