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(DOC) The Truth About Gouging

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posted on Jul, 25 2006 @ 12:03 PM
Edited per request...please read next post for the story.

[edit on 27-7-2006 by masqua]

posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 03:02 PM
(DOC) Just another morning.

My alarm clock went off, waking me for what would probably be another 12 hour workday. As usual, I hit the old Snooze button once. When it woke me again, I sat up, wondering who would be the first person I would talk to that morning. Having my own computer business, and with all the different people I encounter at work, I usually ask myself that.

I began my morning rituals. I walked into the bathroom, wondering what the day would bring. While I was shaving, I was mumbling to myself about the recent local rise in fuel prices, when the "other guy" in the mirror said: "it's all Bush and Cheney's fault."

Somewhat taken aback, and seeing the shocked look on his face, I couldn't help but ask him: "What... being at war, and natural disasters don't have anything to do with oil prices? To which he replied: "Yeah, Right!!! It's nothing more than gouging by those evil oil companies."

Having many things to do, I didn't want to get into a long explaination with this nutball. However, I felt the need to try and clarify the issue for him. "Look.... every time oil prices soar due to supply and demand, and the market reacting to many things going on in the world, someone in the government grandstands, asking for a study or investigation into "gouging". At least eight Democratic, Republican and independent studies have shown that there is no "gouging" by the oil companies.' Recently, it was the natural disasters, themselves, that played a part in the increase in prices."

To my surprise, and with a beligerant look on his face, he shot back with: "I suppose you're also going to try and put part of the blame on the environmentalists?"
This was getting rediculous. I was quickly perceiving the difference between "smart" and "inteligent".

I shot right back: "Look, the fact that thanks to those self-righteous whackos there have been no new refineries built in the past 30+ years, and that the refineries we do have are running at 98% capacity, might provide one clue as to why prices fluctuate." "I know that they've helped in some ways, but thanks to the profits made through Capitolism, the air in America is cleaner now than it was before the Industrial revolution". "Did you know that, smart ass"?

I was on a roll now!! "Some scientists are speculating that our air might be "too transparent", and that, along with increased solar sunspot activity, this might contribute to "Global Warming"? "For what it's worth, our air would be cleaner yet, but thanks to the laws the Greenies helped get passed, coal-fired power plants can't even upgrade to newer technology, which would reduce emissions even further, and at the same time increase efficiency, which would help bring the prices down."

Both of our faces were red, and each for different reasons. Mine for having to explain all this to someone yet again, and his because I was confusing him with facts he had no logical answer to. He must be a Liberal.

Still red-faced, spittle flying when he spoke, he said: "What are you trying to do, confuse me?" "Listen, do you really think the oil companies have America's best interest at heart?' "What about those secret meetings with the oil companies and their good buddy Cheney?"

I looked him straight in the eye now and, as calmly as possible because we were both getting out of control, I said: "Listen, about those meetings; when trying to get information on which to base Americas energy policy, many people from all the energy industries were called in."
I couldn't help but be sarcastic with him. "Why.... what's going on here??? Why in the world would you have a meeting about energy policy, and then have the nerve to ask people who actually know something about the energy industry? Who would you invite to gather such vital information .... perhaps the owner of the local bowling ally? ... or maybe Kraft Foods, or.... I know, I know ..... the General Manager of Burger King? Taco Bell?" I had a smirk on my face now, just waiting for his response. Not surprisingly, he avoided what I said (again, confused?), and changed the subject completely. Why was I not surprised?

He came back: "Don't you read the papers, or watch TV?' Didn't you hear about the obscene profits the oil companies made the first quarter of this year? Don't you do any research at all?"

I was ready for this; I've heard it before: "Look, What I've told you so far is in fact proof that I do the research.' 'Ya want more? Here's some profit information that you, and obviously many people and politicians, haven't done any research on; Over 60% of those profits you mention were made selling products in Europe, and they were pre-tax dollars. Did you see that in the papers, or on the TV news you watch? No? Well, that info was covered by only one news network, and I'll let you guess which one it was."

I couldn't stop. Words were coming so fast it appeared as though we were both speaking the same thing. It was like Jim Carrey said in The Mask.... Somebody stop me!!!! "Let me put this into perspective for you, genius. If I lose you, or go too fast, let me know: WalMart makes 4 cents on the dollar; Oil companies Avg. 8 to 12 cents per dollar invested; most banking institutions make from 15% to 29% profit; Starbucks and Intels profits per dollar are about 60%. Microsoft's is around 70%. Any complaints about gouging yet, and towards who?"

"Here's some more for you: As for REAL "gouging", from the end of 1977 to the end of 2004, American oil companies profited $640 Billion pre-tax dollars. Federal and state taxes over the same period, on all forms of fuel, totalled $1.4 TRILLION dollars for doing nothing at all. Now THATS gouging, and there should indeed be an investigation."

As I looked at him, his face changed from red, to astonished, and then to what I can only call.... enlightened. He actually had a smile on his face. I could see that I did, too. When he spoke, it again looked like we were both mouthing the same words: " 'Ya know, you really do do the research".

My alarm clock went off, waking me for what would probably be another 12 hour workday. As usual, I hit the old Snooze button once. When it woke me again, I sat up, wondering who would be the first person I would talk to that morning......

[edit on 26-7-2006 by zappafan1]

edit to fix bolding

[edit on 27-7-2006 by masqua]

posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 09:46 AM
Ahh, the old justification of profit dream. Tis a sad, sad, sad state of mind
having dreams like this, when "sensuous fantasies" are so close, and apolitical.

posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 10:33 AM
Forgot to say congrats! I liked the mirror-image conversation taking place
between the two of them. Questioning ourselves is a good thing.

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