Originally posted by timeless test
This is a far more complex argument than the tabloid press chooses to ask us to believe for a huge range of reasons. To take your points very
briefly in order:
Most oil company profits do not come from charging high prices at the pumps, to quote Lord Browne of BP...
We of course first of all make most of our money in what I think most people would regard as the wholesale market - that is the production of oil
and gas - not in the refining and sales of petrol and so forth,"
I am open to the proposal that the majority of their profits are not in fact derived from higher prices at the pumps but i would ask you that you
provide something more substantive than their say-so as 'evidence'.
I for one do not believe they could so blatantly manipulate the prices at the
pump without massive government collusion so i will be the first to tell people to look further than the actions of some oil companies...
The margins made by petrol resellers are generally very low. Most importantly, it is actually remarkably hard to be very specific about what
the cost of producing a gallon of petrol is as this is basically one of a whole range of byproducts from crude oil refining and how you spread the
cost of exploration, recovery transport and refining etc is a (very) moot point.
Their profits at the pump is also too a large extent regulated by BP/Shell/Total/ so the franchise owners are not raking in the money by and stretch
of the imagination. If they were trying harder ( by building new and modern efficient refineries) i might buy the excuse of expensive gasoline but
getting the oil out of the ground is not in fact very expensive and one one takes into account the depreciation of the dollar oil is getting cheaper
and their simply robbing us more effectively than before.
The blood shed in the pursuit of oil would stop immediately if we as consumers did not demand the oil.
We demand ENERGY and this is never to be confused with our governments choice of where to get that energy from. The US have sufficient oil supplies
within their borders for hundreds of years and their pursuit of Iraqi and ME oil is simply a globalist plot to restrict oil supplies and thus
humanities energy supplies.
This is a desperately simplistic statement of course, but to ignore the motivation which drives oil companies to practice their trade in more
and more unstable areas of the world would only be to stick our heads in the sand. WE are the consumers who demand oil and oil products.
'We' do not care where they get the oil as we are willing to pay them more than it costs; their drive to export violence and devastation so they may
import the cheapest oil possible , while charging us what their propaganda has convinced us it costs, is entirely their own business and not something
their end clients can or should be held responsible for.
The oil companies sell a product which endangers our ecology because we demand it.
They sell a product because there is a demand for it in the absence of the technologies they are spending so much resources on suppressing. Stop
blaming the consumer for wanting to better his life and focus on those who suppress the most efficient means supplying such energy.
There are lots of potential alternatives and they've been around for many years, from hydrogen engines and electric vehicles to a radical
change in cultural attitudes to reduce the reliance on domestic car ownership and travel. Unfortunately we have demanded petrol, and latterly
diesel, engined cars because they provide the most flexible low cost solution to our desire for unfettered travel. Should we really be surprised
that neither the oil companies or motor industry are happy to satisfy our demands?
People use cars because it happens to be the most efficient way to travel in the absence of competitors and basic public transportation networks such
as in Europe. If the US defense budget were applied to creating public infrastructure people would ride them as the majority of Americans barely makes
ends meet and are always looking for ways to save money on basics they may then use towards housing and entertainment. You have failed to mentioned
the fact that these technologies are not in fact very efficient and that the truly efficient alternatives have been completely suppressed by the very
same people who tells us that they are simply giving us what 'we' want.
Finally, if the oil companies can make more profits from selling advertising then why the hell shouldn't they?
Because it's mostly lies that are destroying the environment and killing or maiming more than a million Americans every year? Doh?
(Forgetting for a moment that the adverts were probably sold by the petrol station franchisee which may not be part of the oil company
itself). Once again, this is no more than a symptom of our consumer culture which is driven by guess who? - US, the consumers.
Blaming the victims seems to be the strategy of those who have something to hide. I find that more often than not supply creates demand and not the
other way round. If the US consumers are not allowed to see their options in store windows how on god's Earth are they supposed to choose it?
You cannot escape the fact that advertising works and as long as we, as individuals, can be so easily influenced by advertising people will
find ever more imaginative and intrusive ways to use it.
People are NOT easily influenced by advertising hence the abusive persistence and massive expense of it all. Did you know that American corporations
spends more than three hundred billion dollars on advertising in any given year with the Japanese following at around 60 billion dollars? Why bother
when consumers are such perfect morons that are easily convinced as to what is best for them? It is my distinct impression that it's VERY hard to
change people's minds and that you do not manage it without a very well planned long term effort.
If you don't like adverts with your fuel (and I don't think we have them in this manner in the UK yet), the don't use those petrol stations
and write to the owner to tell him why you have taken your custom elsewhere.
And when you run out of those five options you have to start with? Your not being serious, right?
However, why, in principle, listening to an advert whilst in a retail environment is somehow worse that being bombarded with tacky
commercials when I am trying to listen to the radio I have no idea.
Because you do not need to listen to radio but you must eat and you must consume at least a bit of food and electricity/energy, etc.
I'm not suggesting that there aren't some very unsavoury aspects of big business and the oil companies especially
Well thank god for that as i would hate to be wasting words on someone who consider the practices of big business remotely savoury!
but to pretend that we as consumers are not ultimately responsible for much of the way in which they act is simply to try to evade our
responsibility as individuals.
Thanks but i am not going to accept responsibility for people who so rarely bother to act in my remotest interest. If you are at a place where you
think yourself deeply enough involved in their criminal behaviour your obviously free to accept however much responsibility as you may choose but
leave the rest of us out of it!
Originally posted by timeless test
..because we live in a capitalist economy which practices more or less free market principles.
And not a system of our choosing either but at least we have those free markets that could ignores you into starvation when your
services/labour/consumption is no longer required.
Businesses are there to make money for their owners, not to spread a little happiness.
They obviously are but they should start paying taxes like the rest of us and stop asking us for bailouts when they rob each other and themselves into
bankruptcy. Socialism, federal bail-outs, for the rich and capitalism and the resulting starvation and mass exploitation for the rest of us. I could
imagine better but i suppose some would rather carry the weight of the entire world on their shoulders than consider alternatives.