In reading this story about the devastation in Houston one particular line jumped out at me: “As the fourth-largest U.S. city, with 2.3 million people, it is also headquarters for 20 Fortune 500 companies.” That 2.3 million person figure stuck with me because it is just a shade higher than New Mexico’s population of just over 2 million.
How many Fortune 500 companies does New Mexico have? Zero. According to the website InvestSnips, New Mexico has just three publicly-traded companies of any size.
What does Houston have that New Mexico doesn’t? Right to Work, zero personal and corporate income taxes, smaller government impacts both state and federal, and…no zoning. Oh, and don’t forget the entrepreneurial/can-do spirit we saw on display in abundance in Houston throughout the hurricane.
Many of these issues can/should be resolved in Santa Fe by the Legislature or by local elected officials. I’m not sure what would happen in terms of New Mexicans’ attitudes and responses should a national disaster ever strike this area (it is certainly not prone to them outside of forest fires).