Monthly Archives: April 2008

Best and Worst States for Legal Climate

The Institute for Legal Reform just issued its 2008 Lawsuit Report.

The best states, according to the report are Delaware, Nebraska, Maine, Indiana and Utah.  Listed as worst are West Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Illinois. 

VW narrows search to Alabama, Michigan and Tennessee.

According to an online article of the Greenville News, the German automaker said Wednesday (April 24) it had narrowed its search for a U.S. plant location to the states of Alabama, Michigan and Tennessee.

Here’s the link to the article:

If you’re going to have a blog…

… it might be a good idea to post something at least once a week.

Being in the strategic planning facilitation business (among others), an ad in FAST COMPANY for a business planning company caught my eye.  I went to the Web site and checked out their products and
services.  Upon clicking onto BLOG I was taken to a blog section in which the last post was September 2007.  I assume that the company is still in business.

The Crown, Indianola, MS

This is clearly the best dining experience in this part of the Mississippi. The Crown is filled with original art, classic children’s toys, shelves of  books about the Blues, the Delta, cookbooks, samples to nibble….and much more.  WiFi is available too!  Look for Evelyn Roughton, the owner, who is one of the most delightful people I have ever met.  Check out their Web site by clicking here. 

Four spoonfuls out of five.

Prefab houses

I love browsing through my replicated Sears catalogue that contains plans and order forms for house kits that Sears sold at one time.  The idea worked at the time.  People bought the materials in kit form and built their own houses.  These houses are all over the country.  There is even an organization, The Sears House Project, that helps to locate and preserve Sears Houses.

The pre-fabricated house idea seems to be a good one, but it has never really caught on. Allison Arieff, co-author of Prefab, stated in a recent Chicago Tribune interview that, “Modern prefab can begin to make a dent in the tragic vernacular homogeneity that plagues this country.”  (I think I know what that means.)

For more information about “affordable modernist factory-built residential architecture” check out, a Web site by architect Michael Sylvester. Check out the section showing houses made from shipping containers.


The American Legislative Council’s report, RICH STATES, POOR STATES ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index, is now available online.  Click here to find out where your state is ranked; click here for the complete report in pdf format. 

The 16 variables in the index are:

• Highest marginal personal income tax rate
• Highest marginal corporate income tax rate
• Progressivity of the personal income tax system
• Property tax burden
• Sales tax burden
• Tax burden from all remaining taxes
• Estate tax/Inheritance tax (Yes or No)
• Recent Tax Policy Changes 2005-06
• Debt service as share of tax revenue
• Public employees per 10,000 residents
• Quality of state legal system
• State minimum wage
• Workers’ Compensation costs
• Right-to-work state (Yes or No)
• Tax/Expenditure Limit
• Education Freedom Index

Generic Mission Statement

Our mission is to exceed the expectations of our customers, inspire and reward our employees, and provide superior financial results to our investors.

Hmm.  Compare to:

Georgia Pacific – 

To create unique value for our customers with:

A wide range of competitively priced bleached paperboard products that consistently meet their needs for manufacturing folding carton, food service and other value-added products;
Industry-leading sales, logistics, administrative and technical support that allow them to run their operations more efficiently and profitably and;
proactive, customer-oriented, market-driven service focus — making it easy for them to do business with us.  


Google – 

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.


Valuing nature’s services? What’s that about?

In a list in a previous post there is the subject of “Valuing nature’s services.”  Someone wanted to know what that was about.  I too was intrigued when I heard this, so I inquired of the speaker for more information.  It seems that this refers to things that nature itself provides to humanity – clean and water, for example.  I’ve also been doing some research on the subject.  You can read more in my next column in the Mississippi Business Journal.

Speakers offer lists.

Interesting lists from a couple of speakers at a conference I am attending.

Larry Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and one of the more accurate political analysts, listed his four “North Stars” of presidential elections.  He says that all presidential elections come down to one or more of these:
War & Peace
Hot button social issues

Brian Dabson, CEO of the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) listed five “Global Forces Impacting Rural America.  They are:

Climate change
Globalizing Economies
Shifting populations
Valuing nature’s services 

How to bring awareness to endangered historic buildings in your community.

One way to bring awareness to historic buildings is to publicly name them.  The Mississippi Heritage Trust has done an excellent job at this as each year it unveils its annual 10 Most Endangered Historic Places list.  Why not have an annual naming of the one most endangered historic building in your community?