Here's a question for all you geniuses out there...

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posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 05:15 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


If someone had a monopoly on something you needed - say, water - and engaged in price fixing and gouging, what would your attitude be towards them?

Apparently gratitude.




posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 05:19 PM
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reply to post by TKainZero
 


And when crude prices drop 15%, the price at the pump drops by three cents, and only in some areas.

The price of crude, and the price of refined product are two different beasties, and are not mirrors of one another.



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 05:20 PM
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Originally posted by skeptic1
reply to post by Krieger
 


Some people make me want to pull my hair out. And, in turn, I am sure that I make them want to pull their hair out.

What do you want them to do? Not make money? Cut their prices so that we pay less and in turn, they have to pay their employees less? Pay more in taxes? Give more to the government when the government already makes 2-3 times more money on a gallon of gas than the company itself does? And, if the government gets more of their money, what the hell are they going to do with it? They haven't done anything so far.



Hey, here's a GREAT idea, stop taking MY tax money! Why the frak should MY TAX MONEY GO TO A BILLIONAIRE!

I can't stand people like you. Ready to fire bomb a nursery because one of the workers is collecting 300 dollars a month in welfare but the oil companies? You already sold your house, cars, possessions and even family members to the sex slave black market just so you can give it to the oil companies. Because you know, those BILLIONAIRES need more of your money.



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 05:24 PM
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Originally posted by obilesk
Well I certainly see how Werko could be getting the shaft, and should rise up and throw off the shackles of his oppressor.


And if werko happens to not be the smartest or the strongest? Why should werko risk his very life while he is at least surviving ?


America was founded on greed and deception and ingenuity and a sense of personal responsibility.


America was founded by a bunch of old rich white English speaking guys who thought they could make more money if the did not have to share it with the British government. Where personal responsibility comes into this i have no idea and as with all rich white guys they were looking out for their own interest first.


All countries have experienced both the good and the bad sides of humanity, yet through capitalism we have found a way to allow the ambitious and patient and hardworking to fight their way to the top. Some have to work harder, but it can be done.


The ambitious and hard working have always found their way to the top( by fair or unfair ways) and it's just absolutely silly to clap them on the back and cheer them on with added rewards and protections against the just outrage of those they steal from on their journey to the top


The greedy get powerful by scamming and then subjugating those who are either unable or unwilling to play within the system to rise up to their own desired level of greed and power.


People are not greedy. IF you are greedy you were learnt the habit as the closest actual approximate human trait would seem to be selfishness. While it may thus be in our nature to do what we can to hang on to what we have we are not naturally driven to get more and more and yet more. If such were the case i am quite confident that it wouldn't have taken us thousands of years to get from pyramids to moon landings.


Or at least a better paycheck. I for one would rather depend on my own two hands and brain to support me and my family than to give it over to a system that hands me everything it thinks I should have.


Presuming that the system is not being run by the voters as was the intended consequence of democracy? Why do you think people do not depend on their own two hands to survive in ALL systems that have ever existed? Why is independence supposedly exclusive to 'capitalism' where we are all forced to compete so that one in a few hundred may become truly wealthy? How can that be the best solution with the technologies we have to employ?


There is the saying "Nice guys finish last", but I myself have known from early on that whatever system is in place can be manipulated, without beating down the next guy, in order to rise out of the ranks of Werko, given enough personal ambition. And we are talking about the states here...


Absolutely. Since human nature is not in many ways capitalist the vast majority of citizens are doing to the best to stick to a common humanity despite the propaganda that would have us all at each others throats. What i hate is that we are supposed to accept a system where the average moral person is forced to compromise either his morality or his economic security on a daily basis as he attempts to make his way to the top. There are but a very few that can so well negotiate this system that they can maintain all we commonly call virtues while climbing the economic ladder.


It is disheartening to hear all of these anti-capitalist, socialist, and near-communist opinions,


They seem to me to be human objections to a horrible system that has done it's utmost to destroy all the rival systems that naturally arises when democracy reigns.


but as a capitalist that believes in personal responsibility to ones' self and to others I am relieved that in America we can still express anything we want and not be immediately censored (for the good of the people).


What does capitalism have to do with personal responsibility? Why are the two confused so readily as if personal responsibility is not inherent in all organisms that has to survive from day to day? Do you think people would become less responsible if we got rid of capitalism or if were at least seriously reformed it? If so how would that happen/work?

What did the capitalist every give Americans that Americans did not try to do undo by two centuries of struggle ? Isn't it in fact democratic struggle and it's fruits that gave Americans the wealth they enjoy today and isn't every action of the capitalist geared towards destroying those achievements to enable the destruction of unions and the labour standards they have managed to erect?

Stellar



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 05:32 PM
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Originally posted by Krieger

Originally posted by skeptic1
reply to post by Krieger
 


Some people make me want to pull my hair out. And, in turn, I am sure that I make them want to pull their hair out.

What do you want them to do? Not make money? Cut their prices so that we pay less and in turn, they have to pay their employees less? Pay more in taxes? Give more to the government when the government already makes 2-3 times more money on a gallon of gas than the company itself does? And, if the government gets more of their money, what the hell are they going to do with it? They haven't done anything so far.



Hey, here's a GREAT idea, stop taking MY tax money! Why the frak should MY TAX MONEY GO TO A BILLIONAIRE!

I can't stand people like you. Ready to fire bomb a nursery because one of the workers is collecting 300 dollars a month in welfare but the oil companies? You already sold your house, cars, possessions and even family members to the sex slave black market just so you can give it to the oil companies. Because you know, those BILLIONAIRES need more of your money.


Fine, hate me all you want for asking a logical question. If that's where you derive hate from....I won't question you.

Last year, oil companies (not Exxon alone) got $9 billion in tax dollars for tax breaks and subsidies. Exxon alone paid in almost $28 billion in taxes. Should they get our tax dollars....not as much as they are getting now, but they should IF they are trying to develop new fuels, biofuels, etc. Like I said, not as much as they are getting now, but a lot of industries get subsidies. If we cut them off for the oil companies, then we should cut them off for everyone.

I found this, and to me it makes sense. These companies have already paid more in taxes than they have had in profits over the past 25 years. Is a windfall profits tax really going to do anything for the better??

www.taxfoundation.org...

Coca-Cola has a profit margin of 18-20%.
Merck has a profit margin of 19-20%.
The pharmaceutical industry has a profit margin of between 20-23%.
The biotech industry has a profit margin between 29-32%.
Microsoft has a profit margin of 24-28%.
Times Mirror (a newspaper publisher) has a profit margin of over 45%.

These folks have higher profit margins than the oil industry, too, and some of them get tax breaks, so should we do the same to them?

[edit on 3-8-2008 by skeptic1]

[edit on 3-8-2008 by skeptic1]



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 05:36 PM
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Originally posted by windwaker
Humans are inherently evil. They don't have each other's best interests at heart; this is the default setting. Only when you realize this can you rise above our nature.


What do you mean by evil? I can understand how wars and devastation can be taken to mean that human beings don't have each others best interest in mind but it would help if you could at least acknowledge that this is not true on the tribal level? Is it not more accurate to say that we are by far more concerned with our immediate environment and family/friends tribe members than with others all over the world?

More interestingly how would you defend the notion that such deeply social creatures are primarily motivated by 'evil' intent? How have we cooperated at all and why are we working closer and closer together by the day? Are we getting less evil thus and if so what inspired it? When did this global awakening take place exactly?

Stellar



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 05:38 PM
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reply to post by skeptic1
 


Once again, STOP GIVING MY TAX MONEY TO BILLIONAIRES!

How hard is that to understand? I know you believe we should all just sell everything we own and give it to the oil companies but guess what? BILLIONAIRES DON'T NEED MY TAX MONEY!

WTF? 9 BILLION DOLLARS? After making what was it, 40.8 BILLION DOLLARS! So they made almost 50 BILLION DOLLARS PROFIT! THAT IS AFTER PAYING TAXES!

Yes, we need to give them MORE TAX MONEY so they can make 100billion PROFIT instead of just 50 BILLION



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 05:51 PM
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reply to post by Swingarm
 


I believe it can only lead to that in the end. I don't see the price of fuel dropping below 4.00 in the US again. We Americans may be slow to react to pressure, but we are not stupid, this is just a catalyst to push us in the right direction. Thats my optimistic view anyway.

Although, what is ATS with "optimism".



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 05:58 PM
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reply to post by skeptic1
 


Which raises a interesting question. If they pay more in taxes then they make in profit how does the companies massively expand, their CEO's become fabulously wealthy and their stock holders richer than they were before? Are the subsidies we give them ( other than the forced one of using fossil fuels when we have had alternatives since day one) so massive that they do not have to bother with making profits? Talk about a hand out?

Stellar



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by verbal kint
How do you think Exxon just returned the largest quarterly profit ($11,000,000,000+) in history (by ANY company)?

I know, this is a tough one. But please, think hard and we can figure this out...

Cheers,
-v


PS- Isn't there something wrong with this picture? Shouldn't we do something about it? Realistic ideas anyone?

www.time.com...

and don't forget... we're in the middle of a recession and flirting with a depression. ...my behind is a little sore. how's yours?

[edit on 8/2/2008 by verbal kint]

[edit on 8/2/2008 by verbal kint]


As the price per gallon increases, so does the profit-margin. This isn't that hard to figure out. It doesn't take a genius.

!~dnb~!



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 06:20 PM
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Originally posted by ChocoTaco369
reply to post by verbal kint
 

Umm...we're not in a recession. A recession is two back-to-back quarters of negative growth. We have not had ONE quarter of negative growth. Our economy has never gone backwards. Since you don't even know what a recession is, I doubt you're the person to judge how companies make their profits.

[edit on 3-8-2008 by ChocoTaco369]


We are not in a recession? No offense but WHAT?????? If you actually believe our government baked numbers then yeah you would be right. You know that same government who also says were not facing inflation either at only 4% I dont know about you but my prices for EVERYTHING has gone up more than 4% oh and have been wrong about EVERYTHING in this whole mess. WOW I have one thing for you and Im going to be handing them out quite a bit in this thread




[edit on 3-8-2008 by mybigunit]



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 06:33 PM
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reply to post by ChocoTaco369
 


Its a good think the liberals are the only ones who have the brainwashing business cornered isnt it?



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 06:35 PM
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reply to post by TKainZero
 


This is only a small part of the problem that is the problem of demand. Demand has not gone up 200% in the past 6 years sorry. its the falling dollar that is causing this.



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 07:05 PM
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reply to post by juniperberry
 
some of us dont have a choice but to drive, the nearest town to me is 10 miles and in order to make a decent living i have to drive 36 miles to a good paying job.... kinda hard to take a bike that far, no busses, taxis ect and not walking so the car it is



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 07:08 PM
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I dont need a IQ of 140 to understand supply vs demand. They are selling us 4 dollar a gallon gas because we will pay it.



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 07:27 PM
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Time to refresh everyone's basic accounting skills.

Income - Expenses = Gross Profit

Gross Profit - Taxes = Net Profit

The 11 billion in profits that is being reported by the main stream media is Exxon's Gross Profits

In the first half of 2008, Exxon reported 22.5b in Gross Profit - 20.0b in Taxes = 2.5b Net Profit.

Profit margin = Net Profit/Gross Profit (11% in Exxon's case).

Not saying that Exxon is good or bad, but let's at least use the correct terminology and figures before we jump to any conclusions.



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 07:47 PM
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yes its a big profit, yes the gas is high, but why does everyone always blame the "evil oil company." There is a comabination of things that affect the price of oil. Why not attack the speculators, they control the price of gas more than anything. And if people are frustrated with the profit oil companies are making, then dont make it one sided, our government is making significantly more than the oil companies as well.

- “Since 1977, governments collected more than $1.34 trillion in gasoline tax revenues -- more than twice the amount of domestic profits earned by major U.S. oil companies during the same period.”

- “Exxon earned 9.5 cents on every dollar of gasoline and oil sold while the federal government collected 18.4 cents per gallon.”

- “Federal, state and local taxes total an average of 46 cents per gallon -- significantly more than the 28 cents Exxon earned on a $3 gallon of gas.”

- ““Unstated in the network coverage was the fact that the U.S. government took in more than $7 billion [in income tax] from ExxonMobil during the first quarter of 2006, a jump of more than $2 billion from the same time period in 2005. And that doesn’t count the more than $7.6 billion in excise taxes -- the gas tax -- that ExxonMobil collected for the government during the same quarter. Plus another $11 billion in 'other taxes' and ExxonMobil sent the government more than $25 billion in the first quarter of 2006”

www.taxfoundation.org...

And then everyone supports taxing the oil companies more, like that would help the prices go down.

*edit* spelling

[edit on 3-8-2008 by azodrac]



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 08:07 PM
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As to the OP:
We're not in a recession. We have yet to see a single quarter of negative growth in the USA, much less the 2 in a row needed for "recession". Roll your eyes all you want and claim we are cuz you FEEL that way, but it's simply not fact.

My behind is just fine

You said "shouldn't we do something about it?" Ok.. don't buy gas. That simple. Do you mean take their money? Take over their property? Laws and regulations? You do realize that these are real people, that's their property, and they don't even have to sell it to us if they don't want. You should be sending them a TY letter. You wanna make a law that they HAVE to sell it to us at I'm sure the price YOU want them too... Ok, I want a law that you HAVE to buy it at a price THEY want. That's just as silly and tyrannical.

You want to know why they make so much money? Instead of taking profit and putting it back to use with exploration, new rigs, new pipes... they already know where the oil is, and they are not allowed to expand. You want to see those profits go poof, all you have to do is let them expand. You'll see most of that profit disappear into new equipment, new jobs for people, new supplies. It's what companies do.

And, if you really hate the fact that a company is making money.. then buy it! You can! Exxon is owned by anyone who wants it. All it will take is a call to your stock broker, and you're now an evil oil overlord! Even with the record profit, the stock is massively underrated and very affordable. This is mainly due to the fact that most people are afraid in investing in oil companies because of people like you. People who think it's just fine to take over people's property, or steal their money because you "feel" it's unfair somehow. Hey, Exxon is mainly owned by people of the USA... shouldn't we cheer their accomplishments? That is... unless you're an american hating commie.

Kudos to exxon for doing such a great job for the tens of thousands of USA share holders, even though the government and fools are out to get them.

I also thank them, for only taking 1/4 of the profit from a gallon of gas, as the government takes. Yes yes, no one wants to bring that up, but for every penny that exxon makes on a gallon of gas, the government makes 4 pennies for doing absolutely NOTHING. I think we need to be doing something about the government's 44 billion......



posted on Aug, 3 2008 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by disgustedbyhumanity
Their business is selling oil. When oil prices are high they are going to make a bunch of money. Their mission to their shareholders is to make as much money as possible for as long as possible. It is not to look out for the general public.

Do I agree that this should be the case? No. The system sucks. I do not think that any resource that is vital to the well being of the general populance should be in the hands of a for profit organization. that would include health care, telecommunications, basic food, water, sewage, energy/electricity, highways, etc. The quest for profit almost guarantees that these companies will not act in the benefit of the majority of the people.

Blame the system not the company. As long as oil is the driver of our energy program these companies will rake it in. Don't bitch about their profits, bitch about why such a neccesary part of everyday life is in the hands of profiteers.


It's capitalism. Works for me. Stop whining. It's just a number.
Look at all the jobs Exxon Mobil is creating.
Microsoft has higher profit margins.



posted on Aug, 4 2008 @ 01:55 AM
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Originally posted by verbal kint
reply to post by jetxnet
 


Actually, their stock fell after the announcement. Apparently, 11.68 billion came in short of market expectations. I can barely believe we're talking about this. I doubt there's a person on ATS that can accurately grasp the immense size of the number 1 billion; much less 11.


I can trump that, I'm utterly amazed that 95% of people I hear blast the "Big Oil" mantra can't grasp the fundamental difference between "profits" and "profit margins".

Furthermore, they are either idiots, or willfully ignorant to the fact that a company can have triple "profits" from the previous year, but if their "profit margin" falls they actually were LESS efficient than the previous year.






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