Raining Business

Alabama may be in the midst of a severe drought as far as rain, but new businesses are raining down on our State.  Notwithstanding the claims of some organizations, lawsuits do not seem to be preventing corporations from locating new plants in Alabama.

On May 11, 2007, ThyssenKrupp approved a proposed $3.7 billion, 2,700-worker steel finishing complex in Mobile County. On June 12, 2007, the Birmingham News reported that Magna International Inc. is looking at a northwest Alabama site for a North American vehicle assembly plant.  Hardly the kind of activity you would expect to see from companies fearing the litigation explosion, or is there really such an explosion?

According to Department of Justice statistics, the number of civil trials dropped by 47 percent and tort cases dropped by 31 percent between 1992 and 2001.  However, as reported in the Birmingham News Sunday, June 10, 2007, CEO compensation has seen a dramatic rise during this time.  Of the companies listed in the Standard & Poor’s 500, the CEO’s received a combined $4.16 BILLION in 2006.  If the minimum wage had increased at the same pace as CEO pay since 1990, the minimum wage would be $22.61/hour. 

So, business is up, CEO pay is up, minimum wage is stagnant, and tort cases have dropped. Hmmm, it does seem like there is a problem here.

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