General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner has a column in today's Wall Street Journal chronicling the plight of GM, which has lost a lot of money and is closing 12 North American plants. His key point: though GM is doing well in international markets, it suffers at home from key competitive disadvantages. The two domestic disadvantages he cites? Health care costs and litigation:
Litigation now costs the U.S. economy more than $245 billion a year, or more than $845 per person. That's more than 2% of our GDP. No other country has costs anywhere near this level. And the perverse thing is that, in many cases, the majority of courtroom settlements go to the lawyers and other litigation costs, not to the injured parties.