Jan 30 2020

Enough About the Stinking Climate!

by Caren Cowan, Executive Director, New Mexico Cattle Grower’s Association
Read this article & more in New Mexico Stockman Magazine

Today was CLIMATE EMERGENCY Day at the New Mexico State Capitol. With it came fancy professionally created yellow stickers screaming the perceived problem, plastered all over Sierra Club foot soldiers of every size, age, color, attire, hair length and whatever else you may care to measure.

During the Legislature it is fairly easy to avoid the news, but hearing about perceived climate change is something that is simply unavoidable. Everything from Australia’s horrific fires to species extinction to catastrophic rising tides is being blamed on human use of the planet. The liberal news media makes no bones about their buy-in to something that simply is not settled science no matter how many times somebody says it.

An article entitled “Climate Change is a Political Crisis, Not a Reproductive One” by Ramin Skibba posted on undark.org caught my eye. We can continue to debate the political “crisis,” but apparently some are worried that millennials are forgoing children in the name of climate change, according to Skibba. Like all of the outrageous claims that have been and are being made by those practicing social engineering under the guise of climate fears.

A simple look at the falling birth rates in the United States indicates that births were declining well before the mantra of any climate concern was popular. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) birth rates fell to a 32-year low in 2018. The decline was two percent higher than in 2017. This was the largest drop in a single year since 2010.

Birth rates are dipping so low that the nation’s population would be declining without immigration (or migration, legal and illegal), according to the CDC and Prevention. Even in New Mexico the birthrate in 2017 was only 60 for women aged 15 to 44 out of every 1,000, says the balance.com.

Reasons listed for these continued declines are many — childcare is too expensive; women are waiting until later in life to start families, which may prove difficult, more education or maybe it was the industrialization of society. Another theory is that birth rates started falling when people started leaving farms and ranches to move to cities because children become a burden rather than an asset.

Fewer births in the US are also contributing to the “age dependency ratio.” That’s the number of seniors in the population divided by the number of working age people. The number of seniors over the number of working age folks has doubled since 1950, increasing the cost of Social Security and health care on society as a whole.

My conclusion is that there are much bigger things to worry about in our population than whether or not young people are foregoing children in the name of climate change.

Guess the State…

The last time Republicans held a majority on this state’s Supreme Court was in the 1920s. Its Court of Appeals has never had a Republican majority, according to an article by Charles W. Sullivan on americanthinker.com

The last time Republicans held a majority in both houses of the state Legislature at the same time was 1930. In the 89 years from 1931 to the present, Democrats have held a majority of both houses of the state Legislature for 79 of the 89 years.

Since 1931, Democrats have held the governor’s office for 69 of the 89 years.  Even when a Republican has been governor, their powers have been greatly limited because they have never held a majority in both houses of the state legislature while in office.

What state am I? If you guessed CA, IL, NY, NJ, or MA, you’re wrong. If you guessed NM, go to the head of the class. Since 1931, no other state has had single-party rule at the state level as long as New Mexico. And how has New Mexico fared under the stewardship of single party rule? Not so well, according to Sullivan.

Mr. Sullivan goes on to detail many of the highly public failures in New Mexico that are often screamed across the popular press, including education, crime, jobs and the economy, poverty, the “death spiral,” and stagnation. Several years ago, Forbes Magazine identified New Mexico as the #1 death spiral state in the country. New Mexico, with its vast public-sector work force, is on the hook for billions of dollars in defined benefit pension plan payments to retiring public employees.

From my perspective these issues are not for a lack of caring or even wanting to resolve them. It is rather a single-mindedness that some individuals believe they have a silver bullet.

Thus far in the 2020 Legislature things have been really civilized and hopefully because this is a short Session things will not devolve into the lack of civility that was the trademark of 2019. It got so bad that in one committee the minority party members were not even allow to address the legislation at hand.

Elections have consequences. New Mexicans have the opportunity to elect problem solvers promoting sound policies to create a place that those of us with children feel secure into the future. Voting shouldn’t be based on party affiliation; it should be based on the knowledge that your candidates share your values and will fight for them.

What ever happened to merit?

A Bloomberg.com article stunned me the other day. It read “Goldman to Refuse IPOs if All Directors are White, Straight Men.” David Solomon, chief executive officer of the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. issued an ultimatum that Wall Street’s biggest underwriter of initial public offerings in the US will no longer take a company public in the US or Europe if it lacks a director who is either female or diverse. It is worth noting that Asia is not included in the firm’s new policy.

According to the story by Jeff Green, the corporate board room has become a rare bright spot for gender and racial diversity at the highest echelons of corporate America. Almost half of the open spots at S&P 500 companies went to women last year.

It is highly likely that all of those women were well-qualified for the positions that they were appointed to. It is a shame that their talent and qualifications were minimized in this manner by a male writer and a national news network.

At the other end of the spectrum…

Co-founder of the Atlanta-based The Home Depot Inc. Bernie Marcus said US CEOs had better start fighting the threat from socialist thinking.

But Marcus told Chief Executive he’s afraid that social media has made executives fearful of speaking out. He was the first CEO of Atlanta-based Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and retired as its chairman in 2002.

Marcus said every time he hears a new multi-trillion-dollar government program proposal from a presidential candidate, he becomes more determined to fight the ideas behind it. But he said he isn’t so sure his fellow CEOs are ready to do battle against what he sees as a real threat to the U.S. economy.

“They’d better start fighting and get off their rear ends,” Marcus told Chief Executive. “Guys my age didn’t hesitate to fight the battles that had to be fought. But I’m afraid that in this environment, with social media, a lot of CEOs are afraid of fighting.”

Marcus co-founded Job Creators Network (JCN) nearly a decade ago to promote free-market capitalism and rally everyone from small-business owners to Fortune 500 CEOs in its defense. The not-for-profit organization has played key roles in episodes such as generating support and political pressure for the tax cuts passed by Congress and signed by President Trump in late 2017, and for Trump’s broad deregulation of American business since the day he took office.

In a U.S. economy with nearly full employment, increases in real wages, quiescent inflation and other hallmarks of prosperity, Marcus doesn’t discount the potential of socialist ideology to disrupt all of it.

“It has hit an emotional chord with a lot of people, especially millennials, who don’t quite understand that with every dollar you give, someone has to earn that dollar,” Marcus said. “And the media is [promoting] it because of their hatred of Trump. If there wasn’t Trump in the White House today, these people wouldn’t be gaining any kind of popularity out there. He’s become the focal point of any kind of policy prescription out there, because they want to oppose him. But socialism isn’t the answer.

“People are running for president who are making promises that can’t be kept,” he continued. “Anyone with half a brain understands that you can’t give everything away and pay for it out of rich people’s money. They could come to me and take every cent I have and, with every other billionaire out there, it would cover about three months of what they want to give. With what they want to do, the middle class and even the poor are going to have to pay for it.”

One of the biggest issues these days for JCN is to oppose efforts to impose $15-an-hour minimum wages across the country. “If we went to that, I can’t tell you how many small businesses would disappear overnight,” Marcus said. “Thousands of jobs would be gone.”

To that end, JCN is “asking small and medium-sized businesses to share information with their employees, because their employees in many cases are voting against them. The [business owners] need to understand that when they vote for higher taxes, their Coke and hamburgers and rent will cost more money. [But] in many cases, CEOs are afraid to show their faces [because] they know they’ll be attacked by the liberal media and on social media.”

Similarly, Marcus opposes last year’s declaration by the Business Roundtable of 181 U.S. CEOs that American companies should formally expand their goals to meet the concerns of constituencies beyond shareholders, to include employees, communities and other “stakeholders” as well.

“At Home Depot, we took very good care of our associates,” said Marcus, who was first CEO of Atlanta-based Home Depot and retired as its chairman in 2002. “If they [experienced] trouble, we were there for them. We don’t need a roundtable to tell CEOs what to do. That’s just good business.”       

Source: New Mexico Stockman, February 2020