May 23, 2007 12:00
With the recent announcement by steel-maker ThyssenKrupp that it chose Alabama over Louisiana, the plaintive cry arose from Baton Rouge: "We're No. 2!" Attempting a positive spin, Gov. Kathleen Blanco said it was a "tremendous honor" to be a finalist and added in a press release: "Our success with this project demonstrates Louisiana has established a stronghold in the global economy and can successfully compete for world-class projects." Excuse me, but would someone please point out the nature of our "success"? We lost.

Undoubtedly, there will be a great deal of finger-pointing and second-guessing about this matter. I'd rather concentrate on a facet of this deal that has been completely ignored. The unanswered ' and unasked ' question is: why did this German company choose to invest on foreign shores rather than in its own back yard? Could it have something to do with Germany's excessive tax burden on businesses? Could it have something to do with the oppressive regulations of the European Union, of which Germany is a leading member? Could it have something to do with Germany's deteriorating infrastructure after years of low economic growth?

We had better wake up to the prospect that after taking a long look at Louisiana, ThyssenKrupp executives saw too many things that reminded them of their native Germany.

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