Thursday, August 11, 2016

Fixing New Mexico

New Mexico's economy is broken and doesn't look like it will be repaired any time soon.  The State ranks way down on the list of indicators like child health and highschool graduation rates which are linked to endemic poverty.  Neither of the major parties have made any headway toward reversing the State's reliance on (tanking) oil revenues and Federal supports.  The response of the governor, Susana Martinez, has been to seek big corporate tax cuts while slashing essential services.  The mayor of Albuquerque, the State's biggest city, has a couple big pork barrel projects in the works which are at best bandaids with no real chance of slowing the general decline.

One possibility with potentially broad support which has received little attention here is the establishment of tax, banking and regulatory incentives to support the development of worker-owned, democratically-controlled businesses.  Such enterprises have been shown to offer big gains in economic development and productivity, as well as helping to put the brakes on trends toward ever greater income and wealth inequality.  An excellent primer on the whole subject is available at the web site of The Century Foundation, "... a progressive, nonpartisan think tank that seeks to foster opportunity, reduce inequality, and promote security at home and abroad."

The article, authored by Janice Nittoli, is "Reducing Economic Inequality through Democratic Worker-Ownership".  Nittoli gives a clear and detailed explanation of all the major factors in implementing a worker-owned business strategy, along with many examples of success, as well as explanations of some well-known and unfortunate exceptions.  Sanders and Clinton both included references to the potential of worker-owned enterprises in their platforms.  Nittoli's article shows what those proposals really offer and how they might be practically attained here as they have been elsewhere.

See also:

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