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Recent national news about New Mexico starts with the radiation leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad. Then tumbleweeds bury a home in Clovis.
The non-status of our economy generates doublespeak and dredging in the memory. A senior administration official observed recently that there is “no growth in the labor market.”
In fact, jobs are disappearing.
Memory dredging began with wondering what was the last truly massively transformative economic event. The best answer seems the appearance during and just after World War II of what became the national laboratories (Los Alamos and Sandia) and White Sands Missile Range. The labs remain here, whining about government dependence notwithstanding.
Skiing positively affected many communities starting around 1950, but in a low-key manner.
Another answer might be the uranium boom in the Grants Uranium Belt starting with Paddy Martinez’s discovery in 1950. That long since went away and Grants went back to sleep. Or the Intel plant, just in Albuquerque.
Today a real transformation builds around energy in Lea and Eddy Counties. We have a beginning transformation in Santa Teresa in southern Doña Ana County.
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