Frequently, we at the Rio Grande Foundation share critiques with self-identified left-liberals relating to problems in the economy. For example, there is no doubt that poverty and a lack of good-paying jobs is a problem (perhaps THE problem) in New Mexico. It is reflected throughout the “Kids Count” report that is co-produced by the left-wing NM Voices for Children and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. By our count, no fewer than six of the 16 variables included in their own report were directly related to poverty and a lack of jobs.
If jobs and the economy are so critical to getting families out of poverty, why would Voices support Obama Administration policies that CLEARLY AND DIRECTLY would kill good-paying jobs for relatively low-skilled workers in New Mexico? You’ve got me, but I think it has a lot to do with just supporting big-government policies and politicians regardless of their impact. Voices signed on to a recent letter with several other left-wing groups in support of the Obama Administration’s moratorium on coal leases on federal lands. Other left-wing non-environmental groups or individuals include New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty and one sole political candidate for New Mexico’s Senate Jeff Steinborn.
According to data from the BLM, as of 2013, there are four producing coal mines in New Mexico, two on federally-managed lands and two on mainly private lands. Coal mining and coal mine reclamation provide over 2,800 jobs and payroll of about $246 million. Of course, the left LOVES tax revenue for all their social spending, but would apparently rather not accept the millions of tax dollars generated by coal in New Mexico. Instead, they undoubtedly would rather just tax the ever-shrinking pool of “rich” people in New Mexico.
Those are high-paying jobs available to workers who have attained relatively low levels of education. The average job in the coal industry in New Mexico pays over $90,000 annually while the average job in New Mexico pays less than $40,000.