New Mexico's challenge is to catch up

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By Hal Rhodes

Two and a half years is hardly sufficient time for any governor to transform a state with a history of consistently coming in at the bottom of national ratings that measure the well-being of its people.
Lord knows New Mexico has such a history.
Just last week in a book published by the respected Brookings Institution, we learned that New Mexico’s largest city, Albuquerque, ranks eighth in the nation where suburban poverty is concerned.
Think about it. New Mexicans, young and not-so-young, small town and rural, routinely abandon their homes in parts of the state where poverty and unemployment are chronic and head to the big city with hopes of bettering their lot.
Only the big city, a metropolitan area estimated by the Census Bureau to consist of more than 900,000 people, is in the grips of its own suburban poverty.
Among the ironies here is that Albuquerque is basically little more than a collection of connected suburbs, “subs” in search of “urban.”
Simply put: The economic condition of this enchanted land is dire straits and in need of help from the top.

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