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Today's Opinions

  • Looking for work? Plan a money-smart job search

    A successful job search goes well beyond snagging the title and the paycheck. From the day you start looking until the day you’re hired, there are strategic and financial issues to consider that may be more valuable to you in the long run.
    To start, job seekers should always begin with a plan to promote themselves both in person and online, and some aspects of that process may be tax deductible.
    Keep in mind that if you are already employed, you may want to consider certain timing and legal issues that will define how and when you search. And finally, taking the job requires a close look at benefits.
    It makes sense to discuss any potential job search with a qualified financial advisor who can evaluate your current financial circumstances, as well as offer tips on how to strengthen your preparations for retirement and other goals.
    Start with market research and improving your public profile.
    A recent Jobvite study notes that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles are the ranking social media options reaching employers and for industry hiring and pay projections, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook is a wide-ranging and constantly updated online resource for that data.

  • Keep to the code

    While on the Internet, I got a pop-up Amazon ad for a “United States Flag fleece blanket.”
    Yes, for just $11, you can enjoy watching Housewives of Bayonne, New Jersey, in comfort and style by sitting on the American flag!
    June 14 is Flag Day. Established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, it commemorates the adoption of the U.S. flag by the Second Continental Congress in 1777.
    And what better way to demonstrate patriotism than by wearing an American flag T-shirt that sops up all that sweat as you and your friends kick around an American flag printed soccer ball?
    Patriots do love to strut their colors!
    The dictionary defines a patriot as “a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies.” Some patriots will go to “a large popular chain store” this weekend, vigorously toting AK-47s to defend themselves against our own federal government while shopping for sales on Chinese-made products.
    Others will visit cemeteries to place flowers and American flags on the graves of fallen warriors.
    And yet others will trample the flag and burn it.

  • Industrial revenue bonds offer novel approach to economic development

    Industrial revenue bonds are a form of public-private partnership — a tool that governments can use to stimulate economic development, allowing them to offer tax subsidies for new or expanding businesses that create jobs and improve communities.
    Subsidies may include a property tax exemption, a gross receipts tax deduction and compensating tax exemption if certain equipment is purchased with bond proceeds, an exemption for bond interest from New Mexico income tax and, in some cases, an exemption of bond interest from federal income tax.
    These types of bond issues have been popular as a way to help New Mexico cities and towns compete — without assuming financial liability — for capital-intensive projects by extending tax subsidies to reduce the risks and costs for a company to move here.
    New Mexico cities and counties are authorized to issue IRBs.
    To be eligible for IRB financing in New Mexico, a project must encourage manufacturers and commercial businesses to move or expand here or to promote the state’s agricultural products or natural resources.
    IRB candidates include factories, assembly plants, warehouse and distribution hubs, nonprofit enterprises, health-care services, research facilities, industrial parks and corporate offices.

  • Letter to the editor 6-11-15

    Plastic bags account for small fraction of petroleum use

    In reading John Gonzales’ Guest Column on June 4, I found unbelievable his assertion that “8 percent of all petroleum is used for the manufacture of plastic bags.”
    Online research uncovered the truth: the U.S. Energy Information Administration says 2.7 percent of the total U.S. petroleum consumption (191 million barrels) is used to make plastic, in all forms and according to American Plastic Manufacturing, 12 million barrels of oil are used to make plastic bags (or 6.3 percent of that to produce all plastics). These numbers can be confirmed from many sources.
    Hence, plastic bag production amounts to only .17 percent of our petroleum use, not the 8 percent quoted by Gonzales. That is truly a tiny fraction.
    Furthermore, among the huge variety of plastic bags made, plastic shopping bags most likely make up a small fraction of this .17 percent, although it is difficult to find a precise estimate.
    It is errors like this one that should make people highly suspicious of activists’ arguments.

  • Revenue shortfall anticipated, business wants spending

    An ugly word, “shortfall,” appears twice at the bottom of page 7 of “2015 Post-Session Review,” the Legislative Finance Committee’s report on the 2015 legislative session.
    Based on what the LFC calls “a somewhat conservative scenario for expenditure growth,” revenue is projected to be $14.6 million less than spending in the 2017 budget year (FY 17) and $3.6 million short in FY 18.
    While FY 17 is a way off — it doesn’t start for another year — the idea of less money appearing than the amount of projected spending rattles the psyche of government people. The normal government world means more money each year to provide raises, expand programs and do new stuff. Less money requires ugly choices by elected officials, even conservative ones who are especially prone to copping out of their proclaimed financial righteousness.
    The problem will be solved, if only because the state Constitution requires a balanced budget. The state keeps a reserve fund, which offers the easy place to cover the shortfall. However, the reserves will take a $153 million hit this year because of reduced revenues and unexpected spending requirements.
    For the coming budget year (FY 16) that starts July 1, state government plans to spend $6.23 billion, $7 million less than anticipated revenue.

  • Climate change opinion well meaning but inaccurate

    Joel Williams’ piece is a classic example of people with only a little information trying to convince you that all those professional climate scientists have missed his points even though they are the ones who did all the work he cites.
    Consider just one of the unsaid assumptions: that a single ice core at one place near a pole on the Earth is representative of global behavior…not!  As for recent temperature fluctuations, Williams’ graph disagrees with every one of the peer-reviewed papers — some 20 of them — in their determinations of global (not just in Europe or Greenland) temperature variations in the past. Since you presented graphs, here are a few to consider.
    The first shows that, just as planetary rotation and orbital cycles predict (so-called Malenkovitch Cycles, which govern large scale climate change over the past million or so years), the climate has been cooling down for the past 8,000 years or so as the Earth’s orientation to the sun slowly changes. And that’s why the recent unprecedentedly rapid warming is a matter of concern.
    On the graph: top is from an ice core, middle is measurement of altitude of treeline. Bottom is from stalactites in a cave.

  • Climate change opinion well meaning but inaccurate

    Joel Williams’ piece is a classic example of people with only a little information trying to convince you that all those professional climate scientists have missed his points even though they are the ones who did all the work he cites.
    Consider just one of the unsaid assumptions: that a single ice core at one place near a pole on the Earth is representative of global behavior…not!  As for recent temperature fluctuations, Williams’ graph disagrees with every one of the peer-reviewed papers — some 20 of them — in their determinations of global (not just in Europe or Greenland) temperature variations in the past. Since you presented graphs, here are a few to consider.
    The first shows that, just as planetary rotation and orbital cycles predict (so-called Malenkovitch Cycles, which govern large scale climate change over the past million or so years), the climate has been cooling down for the past 8,000 years or so as the Earth’s orientation to the sun slowly changes. And that’s why the recent unprecedentedly rapid warming is a matter of concern.
    On the graph: top is from an ice core, middle is measurement of altitude of treeline. Bottom is from stalactites in a cave.

  • Climate change opinion well meaning but inaccurate

    Joel Williams’ piece is a classic example of people with only a little information trying to convince you that all those professional climate scientists have missed his points even though they are the ones who did all the work he cites.
    Consider just one of the unsaid assumptions: that a single ice core at one place near a pole on the Earth is representative of global behavior…not!  As for recent temperature fluctuations, Williams’ graph disagrees with every one of the peer-reviewed papers — some 20 of them — in their determinations of global (not just in Europe or Greenland) temperature variations in the past. Since you presented graphs, here are a few to consider.
    The first shows that, just as planetary rotation and orbital cycles predict (so-called Malenkovitch Cycles, which govern large scale climate change over the past million or so years), the climate has been cooling down for the past 8,000 years or so as the Earth’s orientation to the sun slowly changes. And that’s why the recent unprecedentedly rapid warming is a matter of concern.
    On the graph: top is from an ice core, middle is measurement of altitude of treeline. Bottom is from stalactites in a cave.