These letters were published in the August 22, 2021 print edition of the Las Cruces Sun-News.
Labor shortage in Chilean industry
We all know the incomparable aroma of roasted fresh green chili this time of year. Chile is a beloved culture in our state. Used in family recipes, for spices, on cheeseburgers, and even used in wine and peanut brittle, New Mexico chili is one of a kind and known the world over.
New Mexico leads the country, producing 76.8% of total U.S. chilli production. Total chili production for 2020 in New Mexico was 68,000 tonnes, including 60,200 tonnes of green chili and 7,800 tonnes of red chili. The value of New Mexico’s chili production in 2020 was estimated at $ 51.9 million.
The harvest for the 2021 season started in early July, and there are a lot more peppers due to come out of the vineyard. However, a labor shortage could impact the 2021 output of the state’s flagship crop.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced on Aug. 12 that the state of New Mexico will commit $ 5 million to pilot a wage supplement program for Chilean industry. Funding will come from the state’s share of federal stimulus packages distributed through the US bailout, and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture administers the program.
Funding will be provided on a reimbursement basis to supplement the salaries of current and potential workers. Claims can be submitted to NMDA on a weekly, monthly or end of season basis. Early and frequent claims are encouraged as funds are limited and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis until all funding has been used.
If you are a New Mexico producer, processor or labor contractor, I encourage you to take advantage of this funding opportunity. Visit our website at www.nmda.nmsu.edu to learn more or to download an app.
Jeff Witte, New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture
I would like to report my situation to the Las Cruces Police Department this week. I was greeted by a young man – Officer Owen Gould – and I was treated with the utmost kindness and courtesy and made comfortable during my stay.
I want the department there and others to know about the integrity and exceptional behavior of this young man.
Elouise Young, Las Cruces
Changing focus on spending
How come we can still find money for tax cuts and the military (especially the past 40 years) without worrying about debt or inflation – but when it comes to popular economy, we become very worried. This includes money for well-paying jobs, retirement, health care, education, child care, infrastructure, tackling climate change, and ensuring the effectiveness of our democracy. . Military spending is now as high as it was during WWII in real terms, and many businesses and billionaires pay little or no income taxes. What did we get for our increased military presence in the world – failed wars in Vietnam and the Middle East and what did we get for our tax cuts – the proud rich and grave inequalities.
The weather, we changed direction. The bipartisan $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill and the democratic $ 3.5 trillion bill are expected to pass. It would be a game changer. Physical infrastructure, including the expansion of broadband, is in need of modernization for a long time. Just travel to other developed countries (including China) and you will see why. The democratic plan would take care of the long neglected popular economy discussed above. Can we afford these investments? Of course we can. This money will be spent over the next 10 years and during that time the GDP is expected to reach $ 300 trillion. It is time to take care of the needs of the average people rather than the rich and powerful. One question asked by critics is: will this spending cause inflation? Very unlikely. The temporary price increase will not last – once the economy takes over supply chain barriers. We have a lot of unused resources – including human resources, natural resources, factory capacity, and entrepreneurship. Let us use them for the good of all.
Paul O’Connell, Ph.D. economist, Las Cruces
Redistribution of wealth
The failure of our municipal administration has become absolutely deplorable. Crime, poverty, child abuse and neglect are on the rise and our city council is doing nothing but stupid things like holding a public meeting saying we’re in the same boat which means we are in the same boat. they have no idea how to fix it, offering a free bus service and guaranteed minimum income to 250 families while some are experimenting with taxpayer money. Were they asleep to the financial collapse of 2008 which was directly caused by the granting of home loans to unskilled people (free money) who had no idea what personal financial management or getting into? the property meant? This idea might have merit if everyone had a personal financial literacy officer assigned, but in my perspective, no one in our municipal government would qualify.
Our K-12 education results against national standards are rock bottom with no significant path to academic improvement. The board talks about quality of life and then offers more free things to create it. If we have a school system that is not interested in the quality of life of our children and our city council does not say anything, what will be the result? Yes, more poverty, crime and child abuse / neglect. If we fail to educate our children properly, they will perpetuate the socialist ideals of the city council of redistributing wealth (no more free things) because that is the only hope they will have for a quality life. Is this what our municipal council is looking for and is this really what our citizens want?
Rob Wood, Las Cruces
The first casualty of war is the truth. Following the collapse of the Afghan provincial and national government, the truth is apparently also the last casualty. Out of political expediency, President Biden is, and will be in the future, at least in the next two national elections, the scapegoat and the architect of failure and loss.
Despite the presence of the Doha Agreement, officially known as the “Agreement for Peace in Afghanistan between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban and the United States of America, âand its drafting by representatives of the United States Department of State during President Trump’s administration will continue to be conveniently rejected.
Available on the web, the document is only four pages long and written in plain English. If memory serves, its purpose was to enable the Taliban to become a rival political party in a parliamentary-type government. For those who imagined that the Taliban would accept any role other than that of supreme political authority, they were either dishonest, deceitful, or foolish. Many comparisons with the collapse of South Vietnam have been made.
For those who remember April 1975, images of Kabul conjure up similarities: helicopters flying over the city, Air Force cargo planes taking off from the air base, crowds of people screaming to leave, that is to say flee the country. The main difference is that the Paris Peace Talks took place between legitimate, internationally recognized national governments. The similarity is that the military mission was mainly assigned to the native military forces. The result was the same: surrender.
David Medema, Las Cruces
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