The University of South Carolina School of Law appears to have fallen out of US News & World Report’s ranking of the nation’s Top 100 law schools, according to leaked reports.
USC, which was ranked No. 87 a year ago by US News & World Report and No. 95 in 2008, is nowhere to be found in listings available on the Internet. However, US News & World Report has yet to confirm the rankings.
The Charleston School of Law also didn’t make US News’ Top 100.
A number of other Southeastern law schools fared better. Virginia was ranked tenth, Duke came in at No. 11, Vanderbilt No. 17 and Emory No. 22.
Georgia and UNC-Chapel Hill were tied for No. 28, while Alabama, Florida, Tulane, Florida State, Georgia State, Miami, Tennessee-Knoxville and LSU also finished in the top 100.
An essential ingredient to the success of any state’s business climate is the populace’s confidence in its regulatory environment.
Companies base relocation and expansion decisions on such factors as the stability of a state’s regulatory and legal environment. They’re concerned with how professional the people making and enforcing the rules are and want to know that the rules are applied evenly and fairly.
They’re also interested in whether laws are changed at the whim of legislators who look to please special interests, or whether companies can count on a stable environment in which they feel confident investing their resources?
Not surprisingly, some in California seem unclear on that concept.
According to the Sonoma Valley Sun, the California Secretary of State has cleared a ballot initiative that would raise the excise tax on a regular bottle of wine from four cents to $5.11. That would represent an increase of 12,600 percent.
The paper also noted that, “The measure would push the tax on a six-pack of beer from 11 cents to $6.08, and raise the total tax on a 750 ml bottle of distilled spirits from 65 cents to $17.57.”
And while such an increase, which is nothing more than an attempt to shakedown of the alcohol-production industry, would supposedly bring in an additional $7 billion to $9 billion to California’s coffers, the proposed measure is, of course, being dressed up as being for the good the state’s citizens.
The working title of the proposed initiative is the “Alcohol-Related Harm and Damage Services Act of 2010,” according to Ballotpedia.
That’s because, according to the initiative, “Alcohol-related problems cost Californians an estimated $38.4 billion annually, including the costs of illness and injury, the criminal justice system, lost productivity, impacts on the welfare system, trauma and emergency care, and the foster care system.”
Also, “Alcohol use also costs California’s state and county governments approximately $8.3 billion annually in increased health care costs, criminal justice costs, and lost tax revenues, while the income to the state from alcohol licensing, fees, excise taxes, and sales taxes is less than $1 billion annually.”
What this would be, if it passed, is an effective prohibition on alcohol for a large percentage of the population. There just aren’t that many folks willing to pay $15 for a six-pack of Budweiser.
And, like the Prohibition of the 20th Century, it would ultimately be circumvented by a wide range of measures, including bootlegging and moonshining.
While there’s no guarantee that this measure will even make the ballot, this is the type of draconian manuever that makes businesses and entrepreneurs sit up and take notice.
If it were to pass, the end result would be little, if any increased revenue for California, a whole lot of headaches for law enforcement and economic disaster for California wineries and other alcohol producers.
(Hat tip: South Bend Seven)