Did you know that you live in an economic “Death Spiral State?” That’s what Forbes magazine says about New Mexico. Our state’s economy is burning to ashes, ready to collapse into what Forbes calls a “Fiscal Hellhole.” Know why? Too many takers… Not enough makers, the magazine says.
Do you know what Forbes considers you, as an employee of a state-funded college? What they consider us? “Takers.” In other words, we’re the ones digging the fiscal hellhole.
From Forbes: “Two factors determine whether a state makes this elite list of fiscal hellholes (which includes NM and 10 other states). The first is whether it has more takers than makers. A taker is someone who draws money from the government, as an employee, pensioner or welfare recipient. A maker is someone gainfully employed in the private sector.”
Interesting how they define a public employee as somebody who “draws money from the government,” and someone in the private sector as “gainfully employed.” But we’ve heard this kind of divisive thinking a lot in recent years, if we’ve been listening.
There’s no question – New Mexico and the Albuquerque-metro area are highly dependent on agencies and institutions that are funded by federal or state dollars, like Sandia National Labs, Los Alamos National Labs, CNM, UNM, Kirtland Air Force Base, etc.
But we also know that a lot of private-sector jobs are spawned from places like Sandia and Los Alamos, and that institutions like CNM and UNM prepare students to become the leaders and the backbone of the private-sector economy. Don’t we educate and help empower the so-called “makers?”
Here’s a link to the Forbes story. If you have trouble accessing it in Internet Explorer, try it in a different browser like Firefox or Safari.
So what’s your take on being labeled a “taker?” Are you offended? Or do they have a point – is New Mexico doomed to be a fiscal hellhole because we have too many “takers” and not enough “makers?” Should we be listening to these kinds of assertions? Or just dismissing them as nonsense?
I really want to hear what you have to think. Please leave a comment.