Call for Robin Hood


Aggrad02

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I read this this morning and wanted to scream in horror. I don't have alot of time today but if some of you feel as strongly about this as I do please write a response letter to the editor of the USA Today.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/edito...tters-oil_x.htm

Here is the article in full:

Big Oil pumps profits at consumers' expense

Posted 4/25/2006 9:48 PM ET

"As oil prices reach new high, consumers face new reality" is right: We, the consumers, do face a new reality, in more ways than one. And if we believe everything we read, the editorial seems to justify the high prices we're paying for gasoline by discussing the markets and risky U.S. oil policies (Friday).

Despite these reasons, I believe there is another side to that coin. Big oil companies today are making the highest profits in the history of the oil business, as consumers are paying the highest ever prices for gasoline.

ExxonMobil, for example, had a record $10.7 billion profit in the fourth quarter of 2005, and it recorded the largest annual profit in U.S. corporate history — $36.1 billion for all of 2005. This year will no doubt be a record setter for ExxonMobil, too. All of the oil companies are making huge profits.

Now, I don't begrudge a company the right to make a profit, but to me, something is definitely wrong with this picture.

If these oil companies are making such an immense profit, why are we paying record high gasoline prices?

I'm beginning to see Robin Hood and his Merry Men robbing from the poor to give to the big oil companies.

Personally, I'm choking on $3-a-gallon gasoline in Michigan.

Newton Van Koughnett

Sterling Heights, Mich.

He thinks that oil companies should make a profit, BUT JUST not too much.

He thinks that he is getting robbed (that is what Robin Hood does) by oil companies even though he agrees to buy the gas (no one is pointing a gun at his head). But what he is really wanting is to call Robin Hood out himself and place a gun at the head of Oil companies because he doesn't "like" their current prices.

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  • 6 months later...

I find it curious that everybody's bitching about the oil companies making profit when in reality, the only entity making a windfall profit is the STATE! Connecticut gets about 45 cents per gallon in gasolene taxes and the higher the price of gas, the bigger CT's profits go. The state has made hundreds of millions in extra revenue over the summer. Our governor, Jodi Rell, has chosen not to lower the gasolene tax in proportion to the price increase so CT, and other states too, are enjoying unearned benefits (well, taxes are always unearned, but this just goes over the edge of reasonable) at the consumers' expense. Talk about hypocracy!

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Mark,

You are half-correct and I also have your beef. The government (the different governments) has a vested interest in making a bundle off of oil. But that is only half the story of this protection racket.

I have a real strong pet peeve with oil companies. They learned very early (see the story of the Seven Sisters) that good governments can be bought. They are in the category of companies who get in bed with government right at the start and protect their position through government-enforced monopolies.

Their complaints about high taxes and too much regulation are for show. They like it that the government makes so much money off of them. It keeps away the competition.

I don't even want to start about the alcohol automobile fuel program in Brazil, which was a resounding success, even with taxes keeping alcohol artificially high enough to keep people buying gasoline cars. All car dealers sell alcohol versions of their vehicles down there in addition to gasoline versions, and all gas stations have at least one alcohol pump--usually it is 50-50. When I left Brazil, some cars were running on bottled gas, like that used for heaters and stoves, and some gas stations had installations for refilling the metal cannisters and/or exchanging empty ones for full.

Michael

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Ed Clark who ran for President on the Libertarian ticket in 1980 was a lawyer for ARCO. He stated in conversation that Big Oil liked the current system. John D Rockefeller was in favor of anti-trust cases because they would benefit his company.

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Hi Michael,

I think that government has created this monster that now, as a result of emulating the ethics of corrupt government cronyism, needs to be regulated.

I've been torn over the issue of regulation of business, because on the one hand, what right does government have to interfere with private sector business? On the other hand, we see almost weekly, major scandals uncovered that went on with big business, often swindling the public out of large sums.

Another area where I'm undecided is common carriers and whether some regulation is necessary there. Cable and telco providers have ensured monopolies in their given markets. Without competition, the prices rise and customer service becomes a sneering, unfriendly "we're the telephone company, we'll do as we damned please" attitude.

But it is true that ultimately, government always benefits from regulation, whether it be rising taxes as price of commodities rise, or from fines and sanctions against these corporations.

The problem of regulation is that it distorts the market. California's electric energy industry is a classic example of this. Forcing power companies to sell power at a fixed price, even when that price is lower than what they paid an out of area provider--all because environmental laws prevented the power companies from building enough generation facilities to supply California's increasing demands for electricity.

I agree that big business has learned to use government to it's advantage, and that condition is detrimental to us.

Lobbying should be illegal. It destroys the impartiality of government and it's ability to act as a neutral force of law and order. Special interests imbalance government so that it empowers the rich and hurts the poor. Eminent domain law is one example of this.

There is probably more I can say on this, but another time...

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