November 10, 2005

Is it bad to make money?

Oil Company Execs Defend Profits to Senate. Just reading that headline pissed me off more then I could fathom. Does the government not have something more important to look into? Wait, this involves money so of course they don’t. No matter what anyone tries to tell me, I have seen no proof in the last 12 years to prove that not all politicians are into politics just to make money for themselves and to spend mine for me.

So the oil companies made a huge increase in earnings?

ConocoPhilips earned $3.8 billion in the third quarter, an 89 percent increase over a year earlier. But Mulva (exec for ConocoPhilips) said that represents only a 7.7 percent profit margin.***”

*** Emphasis mine.

If I did my math correctly, that is a profit margin of $292.6 million dollars. Good for them and their stockholders! Since when is it wrong to make a profit in America? I thought that was the point of our society, the ability to work hard and make money. There are accusations that there was price gauging after Katrina and Rita to make this money. The companies are claiming they raised the prices to help reduce the length of time and the severity of oil shortages. I believe it was a little bit of both. I can picture an oil exec wondering what to do with the impending shortage of oil and deciding to raise the price. When the American public continued to pay the inflated prices, they just continued to let it sore.

Over the last two and a half months, I’ve had people ask me about my nonchalant attitude towards gas prices. While others where up in arms complaining about it, I just sat back and rolled with it. When others would complain how much it cost them to fill their tanks, I would think about my next oil change. How can I be like that? Simple, if I can’t afford to pay $3.75 a gallon, then I don’t drive… as much. Remember people, my vehicle gets 12 miles to the gallon. I thought about the gas mileage when I purchased it and said to myself, “If I can’t afford the maintenance/upkeep on this vehicle, then I can’t afford to buy it.” I knew what I was walking into. Okay, I didn’t know gas would rocket over $3.00 a gallon. Not everyone thinks like that? Tough. The poor didn’t buy a new car, right, but they didn’t need that 8-cylinder gas-guzzler either.

If the gas companies can get Americans to purchase gas at $3.75 a gallon, then I say let them charge $3.80! When the price of gas rises above what a reasonable person is willing to pay, the amount of gas purchased will drop. It’s supply and demand in action. Someone needs to explain to me why this is wrong other then, “The poor can’t afford to drive.” Hey, I’m not exactly rich, both my wife and I work to eek out a living. If they can’t afford gas, then maybe they need to look into cutting expenses elsewhere, cut back on driving or maybe start carpooling.

This leads me right into the next issue I have with this whole thing:

”Some Republican and Democratic lawmakers have suggested that oil companies should funnel some of their earnings to supplement a federal program that helps low-income*** households pay heating bills”

*** Once again emphasis mine

What you talking about Willis?! First off, if the government did decide to step in and prove that capitalism is bad, instead of doing something that benefits everyone, they are going to do something that benefits only a portion of the public. It’s nice to know that the lawmakers are thinking about all of the American public. Why is it that I highly doubt that most of the profits these oil companies made came from low-income households? Actually, I’m pretty sure that it’s those of us that have the bigger vehicles or do a lot of driving, and continued to do so after the prices rose, that those profits stemmed from.

This is bullshit! I am taxed to pay for welfare, Medicare, social programs, and social security. Then I’m basically forced to donate to charities at work. This is on top of my actually donating money freely to numerous charity organizations of my own free will. Yet, now they want to take the money that they say was wrongfully taken from me by the oil companies and instead of giving it back to me, they want to give it to someone else?

What the hell kind of restitution is that? That would be like having someone break into my house, steal my stuff and instead of my insurance paying me, they give it to the family down the street where dad hasn’t held a job for more then 3 weeks over the last 10 years. Why would they do that? “Because I have a job and can afford to buy new stuff and he is underprivileged.” That is essentially what the government is telling those that don’t qualify for these programs.

If the feds actually feel the need to do something about the oil companies, why not do something that would benefit everyone? Maybe instead of fining oil companies they should have them reduce the price at the pumps by so much over a period of time. This way those that actually paid for the profits can receive some of their “stolen” money back.

Some of you might think I’m being insensitive to the underprivileged. To those of you that believe that; I say, “Gum nudge my left testicle.” I worked hard to go to college, get an education and work my way up in a company that doesn’t appreciate anything I do… yet pays me decently. Others can do the same… and should have.

So what do you think about this whole thing? Discuss this over lunch and get back to me.

Posted by Contagion in Rants and Raves at November 10, 2005 12:38 PM | TrackBack

Instead of fucking with the oil companies the assholes should fix the goddamn problems THEY created by making it easier to build new refineries and nuke plants. Gas and electricty prices would go down. End of story.

Posted by: Graumagus at November 10, 2005 12:49 PM

You've been deluded. Yes, it IS bad to work hard and earn. If you do, you shall be punished.

America is socialist, I've finally realized it. Capitalism is dead. It's very sad, but true.

Posted by: Ogre at November 10, 2005 12:55 PM

I'm so sick of hearing about forced helping of the "poor". Oil companies are in business to make money. Oil is their business. They make money on that business, profits are the bonus, you know, the big banana! I think I'll go run my tank out today so I can donate to the coffers of big oil :)

Posted by: oddybobo at November 10, 2005 01:26 PM

Grau... okay, but if the do that and the oil companies decide to leave the prices where there at, it's fine by me. They are out to make money, not friends.

Ogre: How many times have I told you to lay off psycotropic drugs? You've finally let those NC whackjobs brainwash you.

Oddy: I'd wait till this is over to do that. You might just be increasing their fine.

Posted by: Contagion at November 10, 2005 01:46 PM

Heh - heard a guy on the radio today talking about "those criminals who run the oil companies"... ARG!!! Immediately turned the channel. I know he's a flaming liberal - but if you're going to make statements like that - you better be able to back it up with laws!!! The problem with the left is that they are so tremendously uneducated... especially when it comes to business. Apparently businesses are there to just "give" us things...

Posted by: Teresa at November 10, 2005 03:56 PM

The prices will go down not because they have too, but because if we have a larger refining capacity, and the gas ends up cheaper to produce because of it, the oil companies will try and underbid their competition thereby causing all of the prices to drop. Free market in action.

The goddamn government at the state and fed levels make a shitload more money off of each gallon of gas in taxes than the oil companies do from sales, and they didn't have to lift a fucking finger except to sign a bill making it so.

Posted by: Graumagus at November 11, 2005 12:04 PM