NEW MEMBER ANALYSIS COMING SOON
The national unemployment rate is 4.6%. Yet New Mexico’s unemployment rate is 6.6%. The question is whether over the next few years, as President Trump attempts to create more jobs in the nation, New Mexico will fall further behind the nation or whether it will catch up.
Since the publication of our two ads on January 15th, we have been contacted by multiple readers. Some have recounted stories related to the difficulty in starting businesses in the state — and, consequently, the difficulty of creating jobs here. One such response came from Bruce J. Fischer, a former job creator in Texas who moved to New Mexico. This is his report:
“Many thanks for publishing your article Sunday in the Albuquerque Journal discussing New Mexico’s problems.
I am a perfect example of your statement that ‘businesses here often live in an adverse regulatory environment.’ Briefly, here is my story.
I owned and operated a small design-build construction business in Dallas, TX. hiring hundreds of payroll laborers and subcontractors for my firm’s projects over the nearly thirty years of its operation. The firm was divided into several sub-operations: residential remodeling div., commercial finish-out div, and handyman (small jobs division). ….”
Texas, being a non-regulatory state was an ideal place to start and sustain a thriving and robust business. Because I possessed good marketing, promotional, and leadership skills I set out to make our firm a top design-build operation in the greater Dallas area and succeeded in doing that.
In 2003 I joined up with the Bill Priest Small Business Institute associated with the Dallas Community College System to help others begin small businesses in the Dallas Metro area. I continued doing that as well as teaching courses in the Dallas Community College System until moving to Corrales, New Mexico in 2015.
I considered starting a small residential operation in New Mexico. Surprisingly, I was ready to go! I found out that I needed to obtain a license to operate as a residential building contractor. But the licensing folks informed me that I needed several years of experience operating in New Mexico and that my Texas business experience was simply irrelevant. [Emphasis added.]
So, today I am unable to create any jobs in the Albuquerque area because I cannot get a license until I acquire the necessary experience working under another contractor.
I was recently invited to a fund-raiser for one of our state senators and asked him, “Why isn’t this state concerned about job-creation?” He shrugged and said that his interest was in preserving the environment while creating jobs was not part of what he signed on for. [Emphasis added.]
For some years I have taught my students that most new jobs come from small business and not large highly centralized and layered companies. My thinking is still centered on the idea that for New Mexico, the promotion and sustainability of small business should play a major role in its economic development. And for starters we need to make it easier for small business folks to start and develop business operations here in New Mexico. [Emphasis added.]
Finally, the first item on the agenda is to sponsor a bill that addresses today’s over-regulated environment easing the restrictions on prospective business owners.” [Emphasis added.]
We appreciate Mr. Fischer’s story. As one examines New Mexico’s job-creation problems, it becomes clear that difficulties arising from misdirected regulations are a major reason for many of those problems. Keep in mind that the easiest word for a regulator to utter is often, “No.” The words, “Yes” or “Maybe, let me see if I can help you,” often require more subsequent bureaucratic effort. Additionally, both regulators and legislators have too often been influenced by New Mexico companies wishing to keep out the competition, so the legally correct word for the potential new competitor, unfortunately, is too often, “No.” The losers, in addition to the prospective new business, are job seekers and the public which usually benefits from the competition which produces alternative choices and lower prices.