Saturday, December 27, 2014


That pathetic little 20 foot wide artificial skating rink on Albuquerque's Civic Plaza is the best metaphor I can think of for our state and city's diminished economic standing and outlook.  I mean really, it is so cheesy that it is hard to look at.  And the fact that it made big news in the Journal shows how desperate they are to make things look good for our Mayor and Governor, republicans all.

And then there is the New York Times story today on how the oil and gas producing states are in big trouble from falling energy prices and thus, revenues for the states.   However they never even mentioned New Mexico which is probably going to take the biggest all around gouging of any of the natural resources states.  Our state is the third largest net supplier of energy in the country.  And most of our eggs are in that basket.  But, New Mexico has become so invisible to the nation that we can't even get bad press.  Well, except for Mayor Berry's police department.

I would truly like to be more optimistic in the coming year.  But it seems that the concept of exceptional government and business leadership here will not be discernible for some time to come.

And please read this blogpost from one of my favorite SCIFI author David Brin.  He is a bit of a libertarian, but one that has a lot of common sense.


Bubba Muntzer said...

You've hit the nail squarely on the head. A 20 x 30 surface isn't a skating rink. It's an ice cube tray. You can't ice skate on it, I'm from Michigan, OK?

That's a very thought provoking essay by your friend Brin, as you say, and it's heartening to see a "libertarian" come to realize that "supply side economics," as he calls it, hasn't worked, not even a little bit.

It's very important too, I think, that he points out that Adam Smith didn't say what Republicans and Libertarians say Adam Smith said, while using him to justify economic policies they concoct.

I'd rther see him, though, call a spade a spade. Maybe he does elsewhere, but here he keeps referring to our current economic system as "supply side."

That term was poplar at its advent in the 1980s, and is still used by some, and he does a good job of explaining why it doesn't work, but saying "supply side" makes it sound like it originated in an economics department somewhere.

When you call it "Reaganomics" it's not simply an economic theory some people just read about and thought sounded good. It might be cast as that, but Reaganomics isn't an economic theory, it's a reaction by the wealthy to the working class in the US and Europe acquiring enough power that they were able to keep a bigger share of the wealth their labor created.

It's an attack on the working class and its ability to exert power and influence by among other things decimating unions and selling off government to big business.

Brin does mention a return to feudalism. That means something, but without putting it in the political context I don't think it provides a frameworks for people understanding what's happening to them, or why our political representatives no longer represent our interests but only those of the rich, despite what some of them say, because if you look at how they vote and what they don't say, they are not even on our side. Our New Mexico Democratic politicians won't even utter the word "union" in public any more. Why not? Why are they voting to cut Social Security, Medicare, Head Start, federal retirement benefits, veteran's benefits, while giving more new tax cuts to the rich? This is all Reaganomics. Why aren't they constantly railing about wealth and income inequality? Why aren't they shouting union from the rooftops instead of running away from the word?

They've bought into Reaganomics. They don't want the people to have power again. They don't speak in a way that would make people take to the streets, organize, amass power, reverse Reaganomics. They want you to hand your power over to them. And just look at what they do with it.

Still, it's very useful for someone of Brin's stature to start cutting away at the foundation Reaganomics is built on, to debunk the nonsensical pseudo-economic mantras they keep putting out there and to point out it's utter failure in evidence based terms. In getting into the psychology of it. In that he's doing a lot more than Democrats are. It's a pretty radical essay in those terms.

Anonymous said...

That is not a skating rink, I have seen bigger rinks after a water main break in downtown. Let's all just wait for another pipe to burst and then head down with ya'lls skates and we can have a grand old time.

Anonymous said...

Jim Baca led us in building a $30mm baseball stadium and bringing ABQ the Isotopes. He does not get nearly enough credit. Enough said.