SHUTDOWN IMPACT New Mexico amid shutdown: Economist warns of another recession

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Posted: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 10:00 pm

A prolonged federal government shutdown could have perilous consequences for New Mexico’s fragile economy, rippling across multiple industries in a state that relies more than most on federal spending. At least one economist warns the budget impasse could thrust the state into another recession if it continues past next week.

New Mexico has more than 32,000 federal workers. And because it’s a small state, that number represents 3 percent of the labor force, which is higher than the national average. Likewise, military workers make up 1 percent of the state’s workforce, a percentage twice the national average, said Christopher Erickson, associate professor of economics at New Mexico State University.

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  • Hector_Sanchez posted at 8:40 am on Thu, Oct 3, 2013.

    Hector_Sanchez Posts: 15

    “This furlough is none to good for our local economy,” Erickson said Wednesday,

    Yes, and the editors and writers of The New Mexican continue to prove that they can't spell!

  • Edward Brown posted at 8:12 am on Thu, Oct 3, 2013.

    ERB Posts: 20

    I wonder why Christopher Erickson has not discussed on the impact of the $36Billion OBAMA care tax increase in 2013. This will push us over the edge.

  • Greg Mello posted at 7:19 am on Thu, Oct 3, 2013.

    Greg Mello Posts: 61

    Sources on Capitol Hill say that the "Weapons Activities" budget line that funds (roughly) 70% of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) has about 3 months of funding available despite the general shutdown, due to loose management. "Defense Nonproliferation," another LANL funding line, has much more than that. So while some LANL programs are or will soon be affected, most will not.

    A comparison with the situation in much more crucial federal program is in order, the Women and Infant Children (WIC) program, which is rapidly running out of cash. WIC serves 8.9 million mothers and young children in tough circumstances, buying infant formula and providing many other essential services. Protecting mothers and children is at the core of any conception of society, any social contract. Investments in maternal and infant health are, as much as anything, what society is for. In the case of WIC, these investments have been shown to be extremely cost-effective.

    WIC has an annual budget of $7 billion or so, a little less than Weapons Activities. In New Mexico, WIC spent $56 million in federal funds in 2011, serving 62,000 mothers and children.

    If LANL were to forego ONE SINGLE DAY of Weapons Activities funding, WIC in NM could be funded for a month, probably enough to past this budgetary civil war. Young lives are at stake. Babies need nourishing food EVERY DAY.

    Clearly our conception of national security has become deeply skewed.


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