New Mexico’s Legislature hasn’t even convened for 2017 but in Kentucky, the Legislature has passed and the Gov. has already signed “right to work” legislation making the Bluegrass State the 27th “right to work” state in the nation. As the article notes, Kentucky is also considering measures to roll back its “prevailing wage” law which artificially inflates the cost of public works projects.
Like New Mexico, Kentucky has traditionally been poor and lacking in economic freedom with abundant social ills. But Kentucky is embarking on a path opposite to the one New Mexico is pursuing and what Kentucky pursued in the past. As seen below, we at the Rio Grande Foundation have two full years of data indicating that “right to work” states create more jobs than do “forced unionism” states across the nation. We’ll see how this social experiment plays out. I have a funny feeling that Kentucky’s economy will leave New Mexico’s in the dust in the years ahead.