Rarely does an opinion piece in the newspaper spur a published response. It is even more rare that the article receives three responses, but credit my friend Michael Aguilar for stirring the pot. His original post is here. You can read each of the three responses here, here, and here.
Now, we’re pretty libertarian (notice the small “l”) around the Rio Grande Foundation, so it is not our business to tell people (young or old) whether they should stay in or move to or out of New Mexico. That being said, there are some pretty telling data points when comparing New Mexico with its neighboring states.
Economic Freedom is strongly correlated with economic prosperity. The Fraser Institute 2018 rankings are as follows:
New Mexico 42nd
Education is important, especially K-12. A recent article rationalized education rankings by considering poverty and other factors that might hamper New Mexico which is perpetually at the bottom of national education rankings. But, even factoring in race and poverty issues, New Mexico trails its neighbors in education quality:
New Mexico 41st
I could mention crime and some of the actual economic data, but the more important issue is: what are real-world young people doing? Fort that, check out the following info from the University of North Carolina’s number crunchers. You can check it out for yourself below, but in the real world from 2010 to 2015 the 18-24 set and 25-54 group New Mexico is hemorrhaging people, especially relative to other nearby states. The 65+ set is moving in, but when it comes to young people it seems like the people are voting with their feet.