Category Archives: Uncategorized

Texas arms teachers while Silver City hires unarmed school guards

Texas arms teachers while Silver City hires unarmed school guards by Peter Burrows 8/10/19  elburropete@gmail.com silvercityburro.com (Note: George Richards, a Las Cruces concealed carry instructor, is the expert referred to in this article. He can be reached at 575 373 5557.) 

Texas just passed a law removing the cap on the number of school employees who can carry firearms in the school districts that allow armed personnel. This common-sense move means kids in those Texas schools have a helluva lot more protection from gun-wielding maniacs than do kids in New Mexico schools, where, essentially, no guns are allowed on campus.  

Maybe that’s one reason the recent El Paso massacre was at a Walmart and not at a school. Maniacs are crazy, not stupid.  

Here in Silver City, the school district has just hired five UNARMED security guards at $30,900 each. This is better than no security guards, but not much better.  An expert in the field told me that a pair of eyes looking for trouble at all times can provide an early warning when trouble is spotted. Even then, a lot of damage can be done before deadly deterrence arrives on the scene.  And if the trouble isn’t spotted? 

That same expert told me that trying to skirt the law by requiring those unarmed guards to have weapons in their cars would open a legal can of worms. As soon as the guard grabs his weapon, he becomes a different category of guard and all sorts of liability ensues.  I’m not sure if that’s precisely how it works, but the point is that in New Mexico it is just as bad, maybe worse, for the good guys to have weapons on campus as it is for the bad guys.   

That doesn’t make any sense to me.    

I would bet that the $154,500 we will spend per year for five unarmed guards could arm and train at least 100 volunteer school personnel who would be real deterrents to mass shootings. Liberals think this would make our schools more dangerous, but they can’t back up that claim with any supporting facts.  

The Crime Prevention Research Center flatly states, “No student has ever gotten ahold of a teacher’s gun, nor has a teacher legally carrying a gun ever accidently shot someone.”  These are the big concerns of the gun control crowd, and they simply haven’t materialized. Proof positive is that insurance rates haven’t gone up where teachers are allowed to carry guns.  

Furthermore, The Crime Prevention Center looked at all of the school shootings in the U.S. from 2000 to 2018 and found that during that period “not one person had been wounded or killed from a shooting when armed teachers are around.”  Conversely, they found that while the average number of deaths between 2009 and 2019 has tragically doubled from the average of 2001 to 2008, the “increase has occurred entirely among schools that don’t let teachers carry guns.” (My emphasis.) 

The above facts are not from some statistically insignificant sample. Most New Mexicans would probably be surprised to know there are 20 states that allow qualified teachers and staff to carry guns on school property.  Three states, Utah, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, do not require any training beyond what is required for a concealed carry permit.   

Yes, it would be nice to have uniformed police officers at every school, but that is both expensive and not as effective as having a “militia” of nondescript school personnel.    

Zillow’s White House Crony

Zillow’s White House Crony by Peter Burrows 7/28/19 elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com

For over thirty years we’ve been hearing dire warnings about how Global Warming (always capitalize a religion) is going to wreak havoc with humanity and cause exponential increases in droughts, floods, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, crop failures, snow storms, starvation, swarms of locusts, and climate refugees — who will number in the tens of millions. (OK, I made up that bit about locusts.)

A key part of the Global Warming apocalypse is that the melting poles are causing sea levels to rapidly rise. New York City, Washington, D.C., Florida and many other coastal areas around the world will soon disappear beneath the waves.

That part about Florida caught my attention a few years ago. It was right after I had had a medical procedure that mostly old guys experience and it was an epiphany of sorts: Soon, I will be no more.

Coming to grips with this existential fact, I realized that I wanted to spend my last days somewhere warm, both because I think Silver City is too damn cold and also to get a little acclimated to my probable hereafter. Hence, my thoughts turned to Florida.

Why not, I thought, move to Florida, find a spot that still has a little beach left, then just lie down and float away, another casualty of Global Warming, albeit a willing casualty.  As an added bonus, I wouldn’t need to spend much on a place to live, maybe nothing at all.  Lots of abandoned beach homes down there, right?

With that in mind, I eagerly googled up the number one online realtor, Zillow, and looked for properties in Key Largo.  Bogie and Bacall, don’t cha’ know.  Well, was I in for a shock!  Those damn fools down there apparently hadn’t heard of Global Warming because not only were they not abandoning their homes. they were asking MORE for their properties than they had paid for them! A LOT more!

A place I really liked, right on the ocean with a sea-wall, was listed for $5.6 million. The owner had paid $2.4 million back in 1996, fully eight years after NASA’s James Hansen famously warned Congress about Global Warming.

Some people just don’t get it!

I mentioned this to my favorite Liberal, and she said anybody buying those Florida properties would be damned sorry, or something to that effect.  I could tell by the look on her face that she had no sympathy for such fools.

This all happened back in 2015 and I wrote about it my article, “Global Warming, where is thy sting?” You can find it at silvercityburro.com, 4/18/15.

Well, here it is over four years later and I’m still cold and Global Warming has proceeded apace. It must be hurting oceanfront properties by now, so back to Zillow I went.  Sigh. More of the same. A place I really liked at 9 E2nd Street, Key Largo, has an ocean view; 4B and 4Ba; asking $1,489,000, purchased for $625,000 in 2016.  Much of that increase is following extensive remodeling, and I note that the house is TWO stories, so a buyer can expect to move up as the water moves in.

I couldn’t find anything in the Keys selling on the cheap, much less being abandoned, so I looked on the other coast in the Tampa Bay area. Same story. A sweet number just listed at W Bay Way Dr. In Tampa is asking $2,650,000 and was purchased on 7/41/06 for $1,785,000.  Nice place: 4bd, 6ba, and 4,485 square feet. What a shame all that will soon be under water.

I thought maybe the rest of the world had more sense so I looked at oceanfront properties in Monaco, Hawaii, and Tahiti. Nope, nope, and nope.

I won’t bore you with the gory details, other than to note there is a really nice place on 4505 Kahulu Ave. in Honolulu that you can steal for only $30 million, and there’s an APARTMENT in Monaco with “a lovely view of the Mediterranean” that is only $24 million.

I guess I’ll have to come to grips with the unpleasant reality that I will not live long enough to benefit from the inevitable price collapse in Florida beach properties.  And I know who is to blame: Barrack Hussein Obama. Some of you are thinking, “Are you off your meds again, Burro?”

Not at all. I very clearly remember what Obama said in his victory speech in November of 2008, and I should have believed him. He said his election “was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow.” He could have added, “And, yea, the Florida realtors will continue to prosper and old climate deniers will wait in vain.”

It’s only Cosmic Justice, folks. After all, I didn’t vote for him.

Islam: Refuge for Pedophiles?

Islam: Refuge for Pedophiles? by Peter Burrows elburropete@gmail.com 7/17/19 

Nothing says a Jewish boy from Brooklyn can’t become a Muslim, and that is what I would recommend Jeffrey Epstein do, ASAP.  Epstein, in case you’ve missed it, is a very rich, big-shot Democrat who has just been charged with sex trafficking.   

It probably involves minor girls, which would jive with Epstein’s record. Back in 2008, he managed to avoid conviction on federal charges involving at least 40 teenage girls, some as young as 14, by pleading guilty to state charges in a deal that required him to register as a sex offender and spend 13 months in jail.  

That little slap on the wrist was arranged by then-Miami attorney Alexander Acosta, who has just resigned as Trump’s Labor Secretary in the wake of the new charges against Epstein. Whether that’s fair to Acosta or not, I don’t know. Neither do I know if Epstein’s punishment back in 2008 was the best that prosecutors could do.   

It is rumored that Epstein has compromising photos of some of his powerful friends, which might explain the wrist slap. I sincerely hope that is not the case. That is a nonpartisan hope. We have too many problems to be distracted by tabloid sensations, especially those involving ex-presidents.  

You’re probably thinking, “OK, Burro, what has all this got to do with Epstein becoming a Muslim?”  

Elementary, my dear Watson. Since Muslims are allowed to marry girls as young as nine, Epstein broke none of ALLAH’s laws. He was simply courting the young ladies. The Koran, the forever word of Allah, in verse 65.4 clearly allows prepubescent marriage, and Verse 33.21 allows Muslim men to marry girls as young as six and to begin having sex with them when they are nine.  

Epstein isn’t out of the Islamic woods though, because Allah’s punishment for out-of-wedlock fornication is to be flogged “with a hundred lashes” and that would be for each girl.  (Forty girls?!) Furthermore, Verse 24:2 in the Koran goes on to say, “And let not tenderness for them (those being lashed) deter you,” which is Allah’s way of commanding the lasher, “Give him a good ass whuppin’, boy.”   

However, Epstein could avoid the four thousand or so lashes by referring to Verse 24:13, which says four witnesses are needed to prove a charge of fornication.  The most cited book of Islamic law, The Reliance of the Travellor, expands on this Koranic verse in section o24.9 on page 693, which says four MALE witnesses must testify “that they saw the offender insert the head of his penis into her vagina.” 

One is struck by both the explicitness of the law as well as the near impossibility of getting four guys to admit they were watching something like that. OMG, as the kids would tweet.  Note that Islamic law punishes the act, regardless of age, while Western law focuses on the age, not the act. Thus, Epstein the Muslim would skate, while Epstein the infidel goes to jail.   

The only question is if Epstein’s conversion to Islam would protect him from the Infidel “crimes” he committed before he became a Muslim.  Does the First Amendment to the Constitution protect Epstein only AFTER he becomes a Muslim? Does the Constitution protect him at all? 

Those are questions I would like to see addressed, and that is why I recommended Epstein convert to Islam, ASAP. He could plead not guilty to all the charges and cite the First Amendment’s protection of religion as his defense.  

He can probably count on support from the ACLU, especially the ACLU of New Mexico, which once had a Muslim on its board of directors.  In fact, I think the national ACLU has a Muslim or two on its board right now, which means they could support his religious right to be a pedophile all the way to the Supreme Court.  

You’re thinking, “The ACLU is not going to do that. What kind of an idiot are you, Burro??!!” 

Just an idiot who wants to see to what extent the First Amendment will be used to protect the inherent criminality of the religion of Islam.  Epstein-as-Muslim is only a metaphor, but an apt one. And don’t count on the ACLU to do the morally correct thing when it comes to Islam.  The ACLU is dedicated to being politically correct, which means Islam cannot be criticized.  

Coal Follies

Coal Follies by Peter Burrows elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 7/7/19 

New Mexicans are going to pay a huge price for shutting down the coal-fired San Juan generating plant and the coal mines that supply it.  Hundreds will lose their jobs and our electricity bills are going to go through the roof.  While this is going on, the world-wide use of coal to generate electricity will be INCREASING dramatically.  

Why is New Mexico going one way, the world another? Because the poor people of the world know that to escape poverty, they need electricity, the cheaper the better. The relatively rich people of New Mexico have lived so long with cheap electricity that they have forgotten that elementary economic fact. They will relearn it as expensive renewable-electricity replaces cheap coal-electricity.   

Some of the environmentalists who rule New Mexico know that renewables will cost more, but they could care less. They see coal as the number one cause of global warming –- catastrophic global warming — so shutting down the coal-fired San Juan generating plant is doing God’s Work. If it takes a little dukin’ and jivin’ to get the public to go along, so be it. It’s for their own good.    

Really? I wonder if the public would buy the con if they knew the facts about world-wide coal use. China, for example, gives lots of lip service to cutting carbon dioxide emissions while building “a massive cohort of hundreds of new coal-fired plants,” so many that the added capacity “nearly matches the entire capacity of the existing US fleet of coal stations: 266GW.”  

http://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/china-building-secret-tsunami-new-coal-power-plant/ 

Furthermore, China is busy building dozens of new coal-fired generating plants OUTSIDE of China, especially in Pakistan and Indonesia.  The alleged cost effectiveness of renewables has apparently gone unnoticed in Pakistan, where wind and solar “account for only 10 percent” of the new electricity. Probably too cloudy and not windy enough in Pakistan.  Right.      

https://www.rfa.org/english/commentaries/energy_watch/chinas-belt-and-road-initiative-blackened-by-coal-01312019115712.html  

India is another country ostensibly supporting carbon reduction policies while building lots of new coal-fired plants. India has 36,158 gigawatts of generating capacity under construction and another 57,800 GW in the planning stages, which together will increase India’s coal-fired electric generating capacity by over 40 percent.  

https://endcoal.org/global-coal-plant-tracker/ 

The Times of India last January 22, headlined: “52 coal mines opened in 5 years to fuel power drive,” noting that the new mines had added 77 million metric tonnes to India’s annual coal production, an increase of 113% to 164 million tonnes.  That compares to New Mexico’s annual coal production of 13, 844,000 short tons (https://www.eia.gov/state/print.php?sid=NM) which equals 12,559,000 metric tonnes 

To put this in perspective, New Mexico’s environmentalists would have us believe that we are making a meaningful contribution to the war on global warming by curtailing our use of coal while India, just the nation of India alone, in the last five years has increased coal production by over 6X the TOTAL New Mexico production. India coal production is now over 13X what New Mexico produced last year, and India isn’t through expanding both its production and use of coal.   

India and China aren’t the only nations increasing the use of coal generation. Worldwide, the megawatts of capacity under construction and in the planning stage will add over 15% to world coal-generating capacity. https://endcoal.org/global-coal-plant-tracker/ 

Question: If New Mexicans knew that shutting San Juan was going to cost both a lot of jobs and lot of money at the same time the rest of the world was building more San Juans, HUNDREDS more San Juans, do you think they would have gone along with it? I would hope not, but this is New Mexico, land of Insanity.  

 

 

 

Public Service of New Mexico’s Big Con

Public Service of New Mexico’s Big Con  Peter Burrows 6/26/19 elburropete@gmail.com silvercityburro.com 

New Mexico’s new energy law requires that by 2025, just over five years from now, 40% of our electricity must be from renewable sources, mostly wind and solar.  Environmentalists and politicians tell us this will lower our electricity bills. They are wrong.   

Empirical evidence from around the world is irrefutable: Adding wind and solar-generated electricity to an electric grid INCREASES electricity costs. This has been known for a long time, yet the push to increase renewables is unrelenting.  

Why? Ignorance is one reason. Few people have the time or inclination to study how electricity is produced, but that excuse doesn’t fly for Public Service of New Mexico, PNM. After all, electricity is PNM’s business.  They know how much more expensive electricity is where renewables are mandated, yet according to the Rio Grande Foundation, PNM lobbied FOR the 40% renewable requirement by 2025.  

 

Why? The simple answer is that it will be good for PNM’s business. To achieve 40% from renewables, which is nearly ten hours a day, PNM must build a lot more solar and wind capacity and back it with storage. This will require a very large investment, which will mean more profit for PNM.    

Almost all of this new capacity will be redundant, by which I mean it will not replace any fossil fuel generation, but be in addition to it.  Germany provides an example of what I’m referring to.  In 2015 a German think tank published a report that showed Germany’s peak electricity demand in 2013 was 83 gigawatts and total generating capacity was 192 gigawatts, well over twice the peak demand. 

Furthermore, of that 192 GW, 84 GW were renewables, enough to supply Germany’s peak demand. You might think that makes Germany 100% renewable.  Far, far from it. In spite of building all that renewable capacity, Germany has not shut down any fossil fuel capacity because all of it is needed for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.   

All those redundant solar panels and windmills still have to be paid for, don’t they?  That’s why Germans pay about 30 cents a kilowatt and you and I pay about 11 cents.  If PNM achieves 40% renewable, our cost of electricity could be as high or even higher than Germany’s.     

That’s not the impression left by PNM spokesman Carlos Lucero at an informational meeting in Silver City on April 16, 2019. When asked if future rates would go up relative to inflation, he was quoted in the Grant County Beat as saying, “That depends on the infrastructure needs and how we pass on the costs that may or may not increase customer bills.” 

Since renewables need more “infrastructure,” a.k.a. generating capacity, and that capacity will be largely redundant, PNM’s infrastructure costs will have to go up, just like in Germany. To say this “may or may not increase customer bills” is literally accurate, but very misleading.  There is only one way our bills are going to go, Mr. Lucero, and that is up.  

Finally, PNM would have us believe they are fighting tooth-and-nail against the environmentalists.  Don’t believe it.  PNM lobbied to increase renewables and they announced the company will be 100% emission free by 2040, five years ahead of the legal mandate.  No environmentalist could ask for anything more.    

I believe, but can’t prove, that PNM’s management thinks that cutting carbon dioxide emissions is a global necessity, damn the costs. Since joining the renewable crusade also benefits the company, they see it as a win-win situation.  Hence, PNM is not only going with the flow on renewables, they are manning the oars.  

This will cost us, big. Don’t buy the con that it won’t.   

New Mexico: Land of Enchantment or Land of Insanity?

New Mexico: Land of Enchantment or Land of Insanity? by Peter Burrows 6/1/19 elburropete@gmail.com – silvercityburro.com 

In the 2019 legislative session, New Mexico lawmakers did a couple of really stupid things: they increased the minimum wage by a whopping 20% starting January 1, with more increases to follow; and they increased the renewable portfolio standards (RPS) from 20% in 2020 to 40% by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 80% by 2040.  

What this means is that investorowned electric utilities, such as Public Service of New Mexico, are required, by law, to generate their electrical needs from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, in the percentages mandated.  These new requirements were enacted without proof of feasibility.  

Furthermore, the new law, called the Energy Transition Act (ETA), does not place any restraints on how to reach the 2030 50% goal.  No mention of protecting grid reliability, no mention of limiting the cost. And it’s going to cost. Big time. In fact, getting to 50% by 2030, just ten years from now, will cost so much that I doubt it will be achieved.  

At 50%, the cost to store electricity to use when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing will cost at least $.05 per kWh, and that assumes battery costs drop by two-thirds. Add to that the cost of adding redundant solar/wind to charge the storage, roughly three times the rated capacity; plus the cost of shutting down the San Juan Generating Station, plus the costs of replacing San Juan’s production with reliable back-up generation, and I predict our electricity bills will go up at least 50% to meet the 50% renewable goal,    

And the 80% by 2040? It ain’t gonna happen. You can quote me.  

At least the 80% goal has some common sense restraints: 80% only if the cost to do so is “reasonable” and the reliability of the electric grid is not compromised. Also, going from 50% to 80% cannot be at the expense of zero carbon-emission electricity, which essentially means solar and wind can’t replace nuclear power. The 2040 mix could therefore be 80% renewables and 20% nuclear.    

Interestingly, the ETA’s RPS for 2045 specifies “100% zero-carbon emissions.”  I wonder, does that open the door for nuclear power to provide 100% of New Mexico’s electricity in 2045? Given the prohibitive costs of wind and solar and their disruptive effect on the electrical grid, that would be a desired outcome. “Zero carbon emissions” is not necessarily the same thing as “100% renewable.” 

This is a surprisingly sensible clause — some would call it a loophole — in the new law.  Could it be that someone in the new administration realizes that nuclear power is the ONLY economical way to get to zero carbon dioxide electricity generation? Hmmm. Maybe not so stupid after all. We shall see.     

For the emotional environmentalist, such as those at New Energy Economy in Santa Fe, any amount of nuclear is too much.  On the other hand, for the rational environmentalist, any amount of wind and solar is too much.  

Some of you are thinking, “There can’t be ‘too much’ wind and solar, Burro.   Windmills and solar panels will save the world from the carbon dioxide so casually spewed by greedy capitalists and other selfish people who want the benefits of affordable electricity. You are obviously an evil-racist-climate denier.”   

Right.  

Nonetheless, there is a growing dichotomy within the “Green” movement.  On one side, there is the renewables-at-all-cost crowd, and it seems that no amount of experience will convince them to abandon wind and solar.  California, for example, is finding it very expensive to deal with a growing SURPLUS of solar generated electricity, yet last year California passed a law requiring all new homes to have solar panels. If you think that will increase the solar surplus, go to the head of the class.   

(You Tube: “California’s renewable energy problem,” 18 minutes. Posted 5/25/19.) 

Sandy Jones, when he ran for reelection to the NM Public Regulatory Commission, said that he loved California because they were always showing us what not to do. Naturally, such a sensible person was not reelected.   

On the other side, there is a growing recognition that wind and solar are impractical solutions to the perceived dangers of carbon dioxide. This is not a new idea. Microsoft founder, liberal, and climate alarmist Bill Gates, said years ago that the cost of going 100% renewable would be “beyond astronomical.” I recently read another analyst who said the cost would be “stupendous.”  

The Clean Air Task Force, a Boston-based energy policy think tank, estimated the storage cost for California to reach to reach 50% would be $49 per megawatt-hour, or five cents per kilowatt-hour. To reach 100% renewable would cost $1,612 per megawatt-hour, or $1.62 per kWh.  Do you think that qualifies as “stupendous?”  That’s just for storage, nothing for all the additional solar panels and windmills needed to charge the batteries.   

These estimates assumed that technical advances would reduce the cost of lithium batteries by two-thirds.  Even if we cut that optimistic forecast by half, the cost of storage at 100% renewable is still $812 per megawatt-hour, or 81 cents per kWh.  For comparison, my last bill from PNM, before taxes and fees, was about 12 cents per kWh.  

www.technologyreview.com/s/611683/the-25-trillion-reason-we-cant-rely-on-batteries-to-clean-up-the-grid/ 

Francis Menton, who has written extensively on energy, in an article in the Manhattan Contrarian last August estimated it would cost California, at current battery prices, $1.9 trillion for 80% renewable, and $7.2 trillion for 100% renewable.   Again, this is just for storage, nothing for all the extra capacity needed to charge the batteries.  

Divide the lower number by ten, and California could build 13 Diablo Canyon nuclear plants, enough to provide over 100% of California’s electricity, and with zero carbon emissions.  It is no wonder that Bill Gates believes, along with many others, that the only economically feasible way to reduce CO2 emissions from power generation is to use nuclear power.  He thinks the wind and solar push is part of the problem, not the solution:  

https://energy.stanford.edu/news/cheap-renewables-won-t-stop-global-warming-says-bill-gates 

A couple of years ago, Michael Shellenberger, a Time Magazine “Hero of the Environment,” (No, I didn’t make that up!) came around to Bill Gates’ point of view. Shellenberger ran for Governor of California last year as an environmentalist who opposed shutting down California’s last nuclear facility, the Diablo Canyon plant.  He got .4% of the vote in the Democratic primary.             

To understand why Shellenberger opposes wind and solar, see an 18 -minute talk he recently gave: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-yALPEpV4w    For a print version: https://quillette.com/2019/02/27/why-renewables-cant-save-the-planet/ 

Shellenberger closes his You Tube talk with this memorable question: “Now that we know that renewables can’t save the planet, are we going to keep letting them destroy it?”  

In fairness to our New Mexico legislators, I’m sure none of them have ever been asked that provocative question.  Most New Mexicans are sold on the idea that we have an abundance of solar, plus quite a bit of wind, and that exploiting these assets will benefit New Mexico’s economy.  Add to that the belief that electricity from solar is now cheaper than coal or nuclear, and it isn’t surprising if people think renewable energy will lower our electricity bills.   

A recent fact sheet from 350.org, an environmental organization, is typical. It states that the ETA “protects consumers and reduces electricity costs as New Mexico moves away from coal.” The same fact sheet says, “Renewable energy is among the least expensive sources of energy and New Mexico contains premier sites for its development.”  

Other environmental organizations say much the same. A 3/17/19 article by Maria Najera of Western Resource Advocates says the ETA will “strengthen New Mexico’s economy” and protect New Mexicans by “reducing electricity costs.” New Energy Economy has made numerous statements of a similar nature.   

They are wrong.   I know of no place in the world where adding wind and solar to an electric grid has lowered the cost of electricity.  Even with zero storage, compensating for the intermittency of wind and solar is expensive.    https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2018/2/9/how-self-delusional-can-we-be-on-the-cost-of-electricity-from-renewables 

Those claiming that renewables will lower our electricity bills should be able to prove it.  If I had been a New Mexico legislator, I would have made that my number one question:   

1)  Could you give an example of where renewable energy has lowered the cost of electricity, anywhere in the world? 

2) The 50% RPS in 2030 requires that wind and solar provide 12 hours of electricity every day.   How much storage will that require and what would that cost, using best-available technology? What are numbers for 80% in 2045?  

3) Would it make more sense for New Mexico to delay its RPS standards until the cost of storing solar and wind generated electricity is not prohibitive?   

4) My bill from PNM has a line-item charge for renewable energy, not a credit.  As the RPS increases, will that charge increase or will it turn into a credit?  

5) In the future, another line-item charge will compensate PNM for being forced to prematurely shut down the San Juan coal-fired generating plant.  How much will that be, and how long will that go on?  

6) Electricity is the base-commodity all modern economies are dependent upon.  How does making electricity more expensive “strengthen” an economy?   

7) Are there any places in the world where people install wind and solar without being paid to do so, i.e. subsidized, or mandated to do so?  

8) Last question: If Michael Shellenberger and Bill Gates think renewables are a problem, not a solution, and if renewables are used only if subsidized or mandated, doesn’t that make renewables virtually worthless?  

New Mexico: Stuck on Stupid

New Mexico: Stuck on Stupid by Peter Burrows 4/25/19 elburropete@gmail.com  – silvercityburro.com

The economist Walter Williams once wrote that minimum wage laws were “breathtakingly stupid.” Welcome to New Mexico, where the minimum wage will jump 20 percent on the first of January to $9 an hour, on its way to $12 in a few years.

It could have been worse. Rep. Patricia Roybal Cabellero, D-Albuquerque, proposed $15 an hour starting next year, which would have made New Mexico’s minimum wage the highest in the nation, breathtakingly stupidest, so to speak.  I wonder what Rep. Cabellero pays HER employees? It’s so easy to be compassionate with somebody else’s payroll.

Would Rep Cabellero, who is doubtlessly a very nice person, think it acceptable if the police were to walk into her home and take something in order to give it to someone earning less than whatever she thinks is an appropriate wage?   That’s what she wanted to do to New Mexico’s employers with her $15 proposal.

You’re thinking, “Whoa, Burro! Outright theft is not the same thing as a minimum wage law.”

That’s only because minimum wage laws are a LEGAL form of theft. The biggest difference is that the intended victim, the employer, has the option to either go along with the robbery or thwart the crime by going out of business.  In either event, the employer is the bad guy, not the badge-wearing thief.

And that illustrates the most obvious stupidity of minimum wage laws: the assumption that poverty is caused by evil employers because they don’t pay “enough.”  This in turn rests on the false assumption that employers are the source of the workers’ wages. They are not.  The customer pays all the bills, folks, including the payroll.

That means that when Robin Hood Government robs the employer to pay the employee, it is the customer who gets the arrow, not the employer.  And if the customer ducks, i.e. refuses to pay the higher prices necessitated by a higher minimum, the business closes and the worker who loses his job is the one who takes the arrow.

Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe already have minimum wage laws greater than $9. Those three cities comprise over 35% of New Mexico’s population and are solidly Democrat.  Seen in that light, we are fortunate that $15 wasn’t enacted into law.

Even at $9, I’m afraid our corner of New Mexico is going to have a lot of arrows coming our way in the upcoming year.  Grant, Hidalgo and Catron Counties have a combined population of 35,000, less than five percent of the three cities mentioned above and less than two percent of New Mexico’s population. Furthermore, since 2010, the three counties have suffered almost a seven percent DECREASE in population since 2010.

The area’s three largest employers, the mine, the university and the hospital, will probably be able to withstand $9.  Walmart will hire fewer people, but at least they’ll keep the doors open, something questionable at $15.  The many small businesses will try to pass on the wage increase and some will not be able to. We shall see.

In the meantime, attracting new businesses will be a tough sell with a $9 minimum going to $12.  The message sent is loud and clear: “Hey employers!  Nine dollars now and twelve coming! Take that, you evil-dirty-exploiting bastards!”

Breathtakingly stupid.