The times are changing
If there is an individual who has the knowledge, experience and intelligence to decisively and in detail, explain why New Mexico’s subsidies of the film industry have gone wild, it is a gentleman by the name of Dick Minzner.
Mr. Minzner earned my respect and admiration when he and I had the privilege of serving on the governing body of the New Mexico Municipal League. He served in the New Mexico House of Representatives and later went on to become secretary of the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department. New Mexico’s coffers, trust me, were in good hands with Mr. Minzner at the helm.
Permit me to suggest that all non-believers consider reading Mr. Minzner’s op ed letter, “Call ‘cut!’ on exorbitant film subsidies,” ($110 million/year.) published in the Sept. 8, 2019, issue of the Albuquerque Journal. It was not that long ago that another one of his thoughtful letters appeared in the Journal. This one dovetails beautifully into the previous one.
The letter strengthens his thoughts and mine regarding New Mexico handouts to the film industry. This letter includes data gleaned from a state-by-state analysis performed by the well-respected National Conference of State Legislatures.
The comparisons presented are clear. New Mexico is not getting a good return on its investment contrary to what the governor and legislature, and the Industry supported by the printed media want us to believe. In my mind’s eye so many of the films produced in states that offer subsidies, New Mexico included, are second-rate. And, although our landscape is occasionally highlighted, they along with many others will likely drift into oblivion in the extensive lists film companies, i.e. Netflix, use to market their service.
At a minimum, the analysis should prompt the state to reduce the subsidies now and phase them out as quickly as possible. There are more legitimate structures already in place that could produce jobs and tax revenues more efficiently than by squandering limited financial resources on the wealthy film industry.
My hat goes off to Mr. Minzner and others, i.e. Mr. Kintigh, a retired FBI agent who once served in New Mexico’s House of Representatives and who, previously, also sounded the alarm regarding subsidies for the Industry.
Sadly, their pleas have fallen on politicians’ Pavlovian ears that only respond, to stimulus (tax revenue) that elicits joy when they are able to spend it to reward campaign donors and further their selfish agendas.
Wake up senators, representatives, governor! “The times aren’t a changing,” they have changed and you continue to tread water. Give us a treat and show us a lot of guts and some innovation!
A three-year difference
I went to candidate Donald Trump’s Albuquerque rally in 2016, and President Donald Trump’s Rio Rancho rally on Sept. 16. Here are a few observations.
Oh what a difference three years makes. Candidate Donald Trump attacked the current New Mexico governor (who was a Republican at the time, no less) and talked about how bad things were. President Donald Trump didn’t mention the name of New Mexico’s current governor (who is a Democrat) and talked about how good things are.
President Donald Trump mentioned every president since Ronald Reagan and said they should have done something. You may not want to expect this president to seek acceptance from either political party establishment.
Neither candidate Trump nor President Trump told a whole lot of detailed stories, but President Trump relayed an anecdote that had an interesting lesson.
There was a special congressional election in North Carolina earlier this month. The president’s preferred candidate was trailing in the polls by 17 percentage points. President Donald Trump thought about doing something to help him out. The advisors said don’t do it; this special congressional election will be a disaster.
President Donald Trump said it will be a disaster if we help him and it will be a disaster if we don’t help him, so let’s help him.
He helped him. His guy won. Could we see our friends defy the odds in their lives, if we would just help them?
We should all learn
I read about PNM visiting Los Lunas High School for the PNM Energy Innovation Program and couldn’t help but think that it’s time for a comprehensive climate education in the school system.
Two reports published recently by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have given stark predictions for the future of the planet and the oceans if we increase the temperature by 1.5 degrees Celsius, which we are on track to do in 12 years if we change nothing. There are efforts at the state and local level to invest in renewable energy to mitigate our carbon emissions.
For example, through the Energy Transition Act, PNM has been required to retire the San Juan Generating Station coal-fired plant by 2022 and to invest in 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. The push for these changes is admirable and there has been a surge of youth involved in advocating for them, as they know that climate change will affect their future.
While I support teaching individual efforts to reduce energy consumption, we shouldn’t leave environmental education to be taught by a utility company. Instead, let’s focus on a comprehensive environmental education that focuses on critical thinking skills and considers alternative sources for powering our future.