Local Viewpoints

KRWG welcomes you to join our community discussion.  E-mail your comments to:  feedback @  Comments included here represent the views of the individual writers and do not necessarily represent the views of KRWG or New Mexico State University.

EPA Rollbacks Threaten Air Quality in Our Region

May 27, 2018

Commentary: Scott Pruitt has been in the news a lot recently.  The EPA Administrator is now the subject of more than a dozen federal investigations, thanks to his ethically questionable behavior and cavalier disregard for taxpayer money.  But while Pruitt’s ethical scandals are a major cause for concern, they don’t directly threaten the health of our community.  The same cannot be said for Pruitt’s systematic dismantling of key environmental safeguards.

Lily Eskelsen García-President, NEA / NEA photo

Commentary: National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García provided the following statement in reaction to today’s shooting at Noblesville Middle School in Noblesville, IN: 

“Our hearts are with Noblesville, Indiana, as they grapple with gun violence at Noblesville Middle School. We’re thankful that no fatalities have been reported, and NEA stands ready to provide any assistance we can offer to the Noblesville community. Our elected leaders who repeatedly choose inaction over the lives of our children must listen to the students who have been and continue to be most affected by these preventable acts. Decision makers must find the moral fortitude to pass common sense measures that keep dangerous weapons from being easily obtained by dangerous people. This simply does not happen in other countries where such laws exist. Until we take action, America will continue to add more names to the list of children taken from their families, schools, and communities. Enough is enough."

This Modigliani concerned about savings not pigments

May 25, 2018

Commentary: In the news is the sale of Modigliani for $157 million, the second highest price paid at auction for a painting. But economists, when we hear the name Modigliani, don’t think of a painter of modernist nudes named Amedeo, rather of the Nobel prize winning economist named Franco.

Modigliani—the economist not the artist—was born in Italy in 1918 and was a refugee from fascist Italy, first in Paris and later in the United States. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1946.

Border Trade Alliance Blasts Trump's Threat Of Auto Import Tariffs

May 24, 2018

Commentary: Border Trade Alliance President Britton Clarke released the following statement today regarding the Trump administration’s plans to open a section 232 investigation of automotive imports:

“The administration’s plan to begin an investigation of automotive imports on national security grounds is deeply disturbing. If this latest section 232 investigation is the prelude to imposing tariffs on auto imports, it will only hurt U.S. consumers and workers.

Commentary: Like millions of my fellow countrymen and women, I have a deep concern about the long term sustainability of our union and the basic constitutional structures that have preserved it in other times of social upheaval. Even during the campaign, Trump showed a remarkable disdain for core American principles such as due process, the separation of church and state, checks and balances, freedom of press, freedom of religion, and many others. Over a year later, it is evident that the rhetoric he spewed on the campaign trail was a prophetic declaration of his intentions to upend the status quo of our democracy. Everything is up for grabs now: the rights of citizens, the integrity and relevance of political institutions, and the inherent right for non-Americans to experience genuine freedom. In fact, for several months now, I have begun to consider the possibility that circumstances are a lot worse than anyone in the media or on the street is daring to say out loud. 

Commentary: Albuquerque, NM - Today, the Democratic Party of New Mexico is calling on Attorney General Hector Balderas to investigate Representative Monica Youngblood for using her position as an elected member of the legislature to attempt to influence a police investigation after officer lapel video of her arrest for Aggravated DWI was released to the public today. In the video posted on local media outlets, Rep.

Let's Be Serious: Access To Guns Is The Problem

May 22, 2018

Commentary: Gun deaths in America is all about access to them. In Japan, with about ½ our population, they average a total of 10-gun homicides per year, whereas in the U.S. there were 15,500 in 2017. Japan has stricter gun laws than we do—but it demonstrates what can be done when the access is limited. In countries like Germany, South Korea and United Kingdom their gun deaths per 100,000 people are like Japan. Even in Canada (our neighbor to the north) the homicide rate is eight times less than in the U.S.

Trump's Go-It-Alone Policy Is Not Working

May 22, 2018

Commentary: Trump tore up the Iran nuclear deal put in place by his predecessor (Obama) despite appeals by our European allies that we ought to build on what we have and make it better. Trump said no. He now is starting from zero with few chances for success. He is great at tearing up deals like the Paris Climate agreement or trade agreements (NAFTA) with no real strategy for making them better.

Commentary: The New Mexico League of United Latin American Citizens (NM LULAC) unanimously passed a resolution on May 20th, 2018 at its annual convention in Las Cruces, New Mexico, calling on Congress, including all five members of Congress representing New Mexico, to act swiftly to enact full funding for and permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). 

Before War In North Korea, A National Debate Is Essential

May 22, 2018


  Commentary: Should the United State start a war against North Korea if it’s leaders refuse to give up their nuclear weapons program? And, should that decision be made by just one man?

Those are questions that our nation’s leaders, including those in Congress, should be urgently and publicly debating. But, the fact that they are not shouldn’t be surprising.

When President Donald Trump launched missile strikes in Syria following chemical weapons attacks by the Assad government, he became the third president to take military action under the Authorization for Use of Military Force passed by Congress in the days following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Congress has completely abdicated its responsibility since then. The consequences of that were not as grave when Barrack Obama was president as they are now.

When Vices Become Legal

May 21, 2018

Commentary: The United States Supreme Court has opened the door to legalized sports betting. States now have opportunity to pass legislation to allow these activities within their borders.

Ranked Choice Voting Is The Right Choice For Las Cruces

May 21, 2018

Commentary: It is very exciting to see the city of Las Cruces considering adoption of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). RCV is a simple but powerful reform that gives voters more choice and a stronger voice at the polls. With RCV, also known as Instant Runoff Voting, voters can rank the candidates in order of preference. You get to choose who your favorite candidate is, and then provide your back up choices in case your favorite is not able to get enough popular support to win the election.

New Mexico AG: Create Stiffer Penalties for Irresponsible Drug Manufacturers

May 21, 2018
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

Commentary: Albuquerque, NM - Attorney General Hector Balderas along with a bipartisan coalition of 39 state and territory attorneys general called on congressional leaders to promptly pass measures to help hold opioid manufacturers accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic and stem diversion.

Series of awful trapping incidents spotlights need for reform

May 21, 2018

Commentary: SOCORRO, N.M.—For yet another year, New Mexico’s trapping season has resulted in untold numbers of deaths and cruelty to native wildlife and companion animals across the state. Although the vast majority of New Mexicans do not trap wildlife and oppose trapping on public lands, New Mexico has failed to join its neighboring states in banning cruel and indiscriminate traps and snares.

Commentary: Over the past 25 years, I have taught business classes including economics, international management, and marketing at various universities. Many a student has expressed skepticism and doubt about ethics in business. I always tell him/her that while there might be a few dishonest businesspeople, the majority are honest, or they don’t stay in business too long. It’s true that in business, contracts are executed that offer some protection when dealing with another party.

peter goodman

Commentary: In our changing world, how is the Public Regulation Commission (PRC) performing as a protector of the public? 

The world is moving toward renewable energy sources. Soon each house, business, and manufacturer will supply most or all of its energy from solar panels. A new California law requires that new buildings include solar panels – and even the home-builders apparently agree. Yeah, a new home will cost a bit more; but minimal or nonexistent utility bills will rapidly repay the investment. 

Lower solar costs and rapid improvements in storage are facilitating a decentralized system. The power grid will become more like a bank, with each of us depositing a bit of excess power much of the time and occasionally borrowing back some. We no longer need nearly so many huge gas-fired plants constantly sending large amounts of energy to our cities.

New Mexico PED K-3 testing and retention plan is illegal and hurts children

May 18, 2018

Commentary: SANTA FE—Mandatory retention based on standardized tests hurts our children and violates state law, said the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty at a hearing in Santa Fe today held by the New Mexico Public Education Department on its proposed one-sized-fits-all testing and retention policy.

Commentary: Albuquerque, N.M. – A New Mexico public policy organization released this week its findings from an April town hall in which 200 New Mexicans deliberated challenges and solutions to the state’s higher education and workforce development systems.

New Mexico families will not lose access to SNAP

May 18, 2018

Commentary: ALBUQUERQUE— Lawmakers rejected the 2018 Farm Bill today. The bill would have increased food insecurity by significantly cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, by more than $20 billion over ten years. The cuts would have made it difficult for millions of Americans to access enough groceries and healthy food and would have had a particularly harmful impact on New Mexico, where one in four people rely on SNAP to eat, including one in three of the state’s children.

Commentary: My employer is sending a handful of us middle management types through a Management Training Certification program. It’s great. We’re learning how to navigate the bureaucracy and the critical thinking skills needed to solve the complex financial, logistical, personnel and operational challenges that face all organizations today.

200 Years Of Karl Marx

May 18, 2018
Dr. Chris Erickson

Commentary: The 200th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth is this month. Marx has not fared well with economists. His poor reputation primarily arises from Marx’s labor theory of value. This is the idea that value of an object is determined by the amount labor, both direct and indirect, it contains.

State must fix loopholes in regulations to protect New Mexicans from predatory loans

May 15, 2018

Commentary: The New Mexico Financial Institutions Division must close loopholes in storefront loan renewals and ensure greater transparency in the small loan industry, said the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty at a hearing in Gallup today. The FID held the hearing to gather public comment on its proposed HB 347 regulations. The law, passed during the 2017 New Mexico legislative session, imposes a 175 percent APR interest rate cap on small loans. Previous to its passage, most small loans were unregulated and interest rates were even higher.

Important Questions Left Unanswered: Welcome To New Mexico

May 15, 2018


  Commentary: “We’ve got laws in this state, OK?” PRC candidate Ben Hall asked, just getting warmed up.

“We’ve got election laws about how much you can contribute and how much you can collect, what you do with it and what you don’t do with it. Who in the hell enforces the law? Is it the attorney general? Is it the governor? Is it the secretary of state? I’ve tried to call the secretary of state and the attorney general already this morning. Nobody answers.”

I didn’t have an answer either.

  Commentary: Americans for Prosperity-New Mexico (AFP-NM) on Tuesday applauded Lincoln County commissioners for unanimously passing the right-to-work ordinance introduced by Commissioner Elaine Allen, making Lincoln the third county in New Mexico to expand workers’ rights. 

When Politics Becomes Religion

May 15, 2018

Commentary: Believe it or not, there was a time in America not long ago when people were not totally absorbed and obsessed with politics and political soap opera. Local and state elections came along and people learned about the candidates for a few weeks and made their choices and that was it. The presidential race came along less frequently and the candidates would appear on the evening news for a few weeks before the election and then you voted and that was it. There was peace for a while.

Balderas to Trump: We Must Protect Our LGBTQ Youth in New Mexico

May 15, 2018
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas

Commentary: Attorney General Hector Balderas announced he joined a coalition of 10 attorneys general in submitting a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) opposing a proposal that would end the collection of data related to violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

“Collection of this data is critical to protecting our LGBTQ students from violence, and it’s shameful that President Trump’s administration would implement a change that perpetuates risk among one of our most vulnerable populations," Attorney General Balderas said. “I will continue to stand up to President Trump’s harmful policies that jeopardize the safety of New Mexico children and families.”

peter goodman

  Commentary: Seven years of this column have led to a better understanding

Today is the seventh anniversary of our move back to Las Cruces. Within months I started writing these columns. I doubt they've changed Las Cruces much, but they've changed me. 

Strangers express their appreciation of the columns and radio commentary in strong terms, thanking me. I feel a mixture of gratitude and the sense that I'm not doing enough to deserve such generous praise.

Is Torture Immoral or Not? What Say You, Ms. Haspel?

May 13, 2018

Commentary: According to the New York Times, in late 2002, Gina Haspel was dispatched to oversee a secret C.I.A. prison in Thailand code-named Cat's Eye. While she was there, C.I.A. contractors waterboarded al-Qaeda suspects including Abd al-Rahim al-Nashir, the man accused of orchestrating the bombing of the American destroyer U.S.S. Cole off the coast of Yemen in 2000.

New Mexico citizens are poorly served and being left behind

May 11, 2018

Commentary: People often confuse economic growth, either measured by employment or GDP, with economic development. They are very different concepts and failure to distinguish these concepts leads to bad policy.

Economic development is an involved process that affects all aspects of life. It is the adoption of new techniques for economic production; and in so doing, transforming social and political relations.

Tax Law Backfires; Republicans Running Scared

May 9, 2018

  Commentary: Republicans have released a new ad that suggests Democrats will raise taxes on all Americans if they regain control of Congress. They even go so far as suggesting that if House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi becomes Speaker she will raise everyone’s taxes. This false narrative is a smoke screen and scare tactic to hide the GOP’s failing agenda to cut taxes for the rich and big corporations whenever they can.

Americans for Tax Fairness executive director Frank Clemente released the following statement today about the controversy: