Crony Capitalism, Corruption and the Economy in the State of New Mexico

January 27, 2016

Crony Capitalism, Corruption and the Economy in the State of New Mexico outlines the rise of crony capitalism in the state and puts forth a three-step plan that eliminates corruption and energizes economic growth.

The report was authored by a team of political scientists at the University of New Mexico and led by Professor Michael Rocca. Identified in the paper are three key types of crony capitalism that New Mexico’s government amplifies: regulatory favoritism, pay to play/political coercion, and interest group politics. Additionally, included are case studies that spotlight recent tax subsidy programs, how industries have organized to sidestep laws, and pay-to-play scandals.

The study concludes with numerous recommendations that, if enacted, would minimize crony capitalism’s reach and lead to a more vibrant state economy and democracy. Among the proposals are the following:

  • Require full disclosure of campaign contributions and lobbying activity.
    Doing so would increase oversight and accountability in the government decision-making process.
  • Establish an independent ethics commission.
    Such a commission would educate elected officials about the state’s ethics laws to help prevent violations, and address and enforce ethics laws. New Mexico is currently one of seven states without one.
  • Conduct regular and rigorous evaluations of tax subsidy programs.
    Elected officials and the public currently lack sufficient information about whether the benefits of current tax subsidy programs outweigh the costs. Items need to be studied often enough to provide policymakers with up-to-date information, while allowed the time to produce thorough, detailed studies.

View Press Release