I don’t get it. I’ve lost my understanding for why America is so great. I’ve lost my faith in capitalism. I think the “good news” listed within can accurately describe my disgust. I have to stiffle a bit of laughter for fear that Katrina victims might here me. Exxon Mobil was able to post record US profits for the 4th quarter, even after their refineries were hit by one of the strongest hurricanes in recorded history. Wow, that’s 2 records in a row, coincidence?
Something is going on here and it’s not coincidence. How is it possible for Exxon Mobil to post such stiff earnings when they claim that the price of oil is rising and their refineries are hurting? It’s not possible, if you think about it logically. They aren’t eating the cost of anything. The burden is resting comfortably on the backs of every hard (or not) working American citizen. The problem is that they don’t even know it. Every day, we can see on CNN that the price of oil per barrell is increasing. Yes, the price does increase, but what does that exactly mean?
The arabs are raising the price of oil so that they can horde cash. One particular arab nation, Iran, is obviously using their cash pile to build nuclear arms. They are listed on the UN watch list now. Great. The worst part is that “as of late 2002, Iran held 90 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, or roughly 9% of the world’s total,” within their grasp. What about the other nations that hold oil? Iraq? Syria? I don’t want to get into that can of worms.
The point is that these countries increase the price of oil per barrel so that they can make money. Who wouldn’t do this? If you held 90 billion barrels of crude oil in your backyard, would you give it away for free? I wouldn’t. Fine, counterpoint made.
Now, this is where Exxon Mobil comes in. When the price of oil per barrel increases, Exxon Mobil increases it’s gas prices to directly compensate with the increase of barrel prices. Now, I can understand a company raising it’s prices so that it doesn’t go out of business, but this is insane. Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Safeway, and many other huge corporations make less than 20% off their products. Hell, Safeway would be lucky if it made more than 1% off it’s products. Exxon Mobil has no published figures to show how much profit they make off their initial investment. I’m willing to bet it’s a lot higher than 1%. Try in the 75% range.
What I don’t get is why we as consumers just pay these ridiculous gas prices? Yes, I do realize that the alternative to this is not driving or taking the bus. However, let’s be serious, people need to drive. If we all took the goddamn bus, you’d never get anywhere, there wouldn’t be enough buses. Even worse is that congress has done nothing to help us. Republicans and democrats alike don’t give a damn about the American public. Want to know why they don’t? You already voted for them. They only start to care about you when they’re up for re-election. Then, they’re very “active” in pursuing a solution to our problems.
The way I see it, there’s nothing that we can do. We have a government that stifles innovation in hydrogen fuel cell sector. Hybrid cars are still part of the problem, they consume gas. We have corporations that just don’t give a damn about anybody. But, that’s America for you. We live in a capitalist country and this is what you get. It’s pure economics for all you book worms out there reading this. Yes, people need oil, and gas. Yes, they are willing to pay whatever it is to fill their 50 gallon escalade so that they can cruise 5 miles down the local strip before they have to fill up again.
I think the main cause of the problem is apathy among Americans. If enough of us stood up and showed that we cared, we get somewhere. I just know that this is not going to happen anytime soon. Getting people to vote is already hard enough. I can’t imagine people standing up against a corporation who has been price gouging us for years. So Mr CEO of Exxon Mobil, go ahead and light up your cigar with another stack of 100s, just remember, some day your precious goddamn oil is going to be gone.
End of rant.