Estoy No Encantado

9/26/09 - New Mexico's taxes are low, at least compared to Virginia's. Our income increased by over $100 a month when we moved here and changed our withholding. Money in the pocket is nice, but ya get what ya pay for.

Low taxes, combined with the corruption and third-world mentality that pervades government here, leaves little money to maintain tertiary roads and localities run from that responsibility like scalded dogs. That seems to suit the landowners just fine. We don need no steenkeeng improved roads anyway.

The 3.5 miles to our house from the highway is over a typically bad New Mexico private road. The landowners are responsible for its maintenance--everybody's deed says so. We're also liable for injuries sustained when somebody who's not supposed to be up here in the first place does something stupid. There are, of course, ways to protect yourself from the destruction of your income that can result from lawsuits by stupid trespassers--the limited liability corporation comes to mind--but New Mexicans avoid such legal mechanisms with the same enthusiasm localities avoid maintaining roads. You cross your fingers, pray the Rosary, and hope nobody gets hurt, or if somebody does get hurt, that your homeowner's insurance will make it go away.

Ted and I tolerate this because we haven't been here long enough to wield influence to make it otherwise. I never wash my car anyway, so I don't care if it's always covered with dust. It has all-wheel drive and handles the road pretty well. If bad roads are part of the New Mexico landscape, I'll live with it. It's part of the price of living in paradise.

Mr. Natural sez...BUT ... A road is a tool and if there's one thing I can't tolerate (actually there are several, but this one is huge for me) it's tool abuse. The best advice I ever received came from Zap Comix and R. Crumb's Mr. Natural, who said -->

Damn straight. Then, once you have the right tool, learn how to use it right, and don't hurt yourself or somebody else with it, and take proper care of it.

There's tool abuse going on in New Mexico.