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  #11  
Old 05-23-2008, 08:53 PM
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I guess I expect to much, that people would see how evening news is in Big Oils pocket,how the newspapers blame our High Gas prices on OPEC, I guess it takes a special kind of vision to see that Price gouging is not okay. We have 3 animal hospitals in my area, I am the owner of one of them, I make a good living. Our prices are the lowest in the city, and my Associates are doing well also. I see what fuel prices are doing to people and I have made a mobile Op/Physical room where we go to the homes of the pet owners still for our regular fees. It brings the pet owner happiness,and we still make a comfortable living. I digress, Go where you wish to with this thread, I share ,Love and Light with you all an hope that it will be enough. Goddess Bless you All
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  #12  
Old 05-23-2008, 09:06 PM
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Because you, the consumer, is willing to pay. Simple, if you stop paying then the prices will go down. You can walk, you can run, you can jog and you can ride a bike. Or even use public transportation. Ofcourse it's neccessary in some fields such as farming, but the average Joe has grown comfortable with using their cars and their planes for transportation. All this time we've been using borrowed energy, fossil fuel has never been sustainable. We're using up more energy per day then the sun gives us, we can't expect that it will go on forever.
I'm afraid these things simply are not options for everyone. When I lived in North Carolina, I worked 40 miles ONE WAY from where I lived...waaaaaay out in the boonies. I could neither walk, nor jog nor bike that far every single day, especially not after my son was born and needed to be taken to daycare. Also, there was no public transportation where I lived. So buses and trains were out. What else was I supposed to do other than drive my car?

Of course, I now telecommute. (Wheee!) And, my family has 1 car and we only have to drive about 20 minutes per day. Sure, you could say we could take public transportation or bike that distance. Not with a 2 year old, I'm not. I will not endanger my son by putting him on a bike and riding along a busy highway. Plus, getting to the bus stop is further than we have to drive. So, again...these options are not a universal cure.
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  #13  
Old 05-23-2008, 09:43 PM
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You know, I figured it might help if we put some numbers to this and see if the profits make some sort of sense. (This is extremely simplistic but I think it kind of helps) So lets assume that oil was $80/barrel and is now $120/barrel. Because it is a nice easy to use number, lets assume the oil companies profit margin is 10% (this is probably rather low). So they would make $8/barrel before and $12/barrel now. Which gives a 50% increase in profits. Mathematically a larger profit margin would result in a larger increase in profits, but for a 600% increase it would need to be (*edit, I goofed up, what I get for trying to do this mostly in my head, I'll fix this if I figure it out*)

Another thing about all this, they claim that one of the problems is lack of refinery capacity, but with this level of profit is there really any excuse for not reinvesting some in refining capacity?
Last edited by orala : 05-23-2008 at 09:56 PM.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2008, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Sensational View Post
Because you, the consumer, is willing to pay. Simple, if you stop paying then the prices will go down.
Wow, if it was that simple that would be great. But I think this rant is more a reflection on the vast class inequality than on the horror of "high" gas prices (which, adjusted for inflation, are actually quite reasonable). It applies to a number of large industries right now, with their lobbyists and annual bonuses larger than all the money I will make in my entire life...

I'm an American, and as such will fight to the death to defend the rights of people to make obscene amounts of money. At the same time, with the current world population, it's simply impossible to have rich people without also having vast numbers of poor people. So, by defending capitalism, I'm also defending poverty, pretty much by definition. It is difficult for an intelligent person to defend this position, but I've never really cared for the alternatives either...

However, there are other good reasons not to drive. I bike commute because I hate driving in traffic, not because gasoline is expensive. But I realize that sooner or later the knees will give out, and then what will I do? (Public transportation, in US suburbs? Now that's funny.)

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... Sure, you could say we could take public transportation or bike that distance. Not with a 2 year old, I'm not. I will not endanger my son by putting him on a bike and riding along a busy highway.
I wish more people had this attitude. A baby in a tent-on-wheels at ground level, on these streets? No way! All road bikers live with the possibility, even the probability that you will eventually be hit by an SUV. And yet I see it every week. Now that's just not right.

(No, I'm not really trying to derail the thread. Really!)
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  #15  
Old 05-24-2008, 12:56 AM
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Again, someone thinks that it is as simple as stop buying fuel.... How does the farmer farm, how do the crops get to market, how do you travel to a job 25 ore more miles away.
I already covered the farmer part, I am well aware of the fact that some parts of our society can't just stop purchasing oil. They could try to rely less on it, but it's not like they didn't know what they were getting into when they started buying oil. Unless they were uneducated. Most people know that fossil fuels only exist in a limited quantity and in certain places of the world though. As for getting to your job, get up earlier in the morning and walk, ride a bike or get a job closer to home. If you don't want to rely on the oil companies to sell you oil at the prices that you feel are comfortable, then buy some land and start drilling for oil yourself.

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Again a simple answer from a simple mind.

Coming from someone who writes in massive purple text, that means alot to me. I love how you call the oil companies "greedy", who are you to decide how much money they need? Who are you to decide that they can't run their buisness in whatever way they want to aslong as they stay within the frames of the law? Should we go around restricting people's rights just because their way of handling buisness doesn't work to our advantage?

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but Fuel is apart of every day life and there is no lets do it like we did a hundred years ago.

Then get used to the fact that it's a commercial product just like everything else. Capitalism is apart of everyday life in western civilisation.

Edit: Don't know what happened to your pretty colors after I qouted you...
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  #16  
Old 05-24-2008, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by tekhedd View Post
Wow, if it was that simple that would be great. But I think this rant is more a reflection on the vast class inequality than on the horror of "high" gas prices (which, adjusted for inflation, are actually quite reasonable). It applies to a number of large industries right now, with their lobbyists and annual bonuses larger than all the money I will make in my entire life...
Ofcourse I realize that it's not always that simple, but you can't pick and choose who gets to be a capitalist and who has to care about the little people. Oil companies are just companies, why should they care that you have a long ride to your job? You (You as in "people") need to adapt to the world, not the other way around.
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  #17  
Old 05-24-2008, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Sensational View Post
Ofcourse I realize that it's not always that simple, but you can't pick and choose who gets to be a capitalist and who has to care about the little people. Oil companies are just companies, why should they care that you have a long ride to your job? You (You as in "people") need to adapt to the world, not the other way around.
Well, the question "why should they care" is actually a philosophical question that has been discussed at length elsewhere. But practically speaking, there's no reason to assume anything will change, so I assume you meant it rhetorically.

I find the best compromise I can and enjoy it. And my life totally rocks. But the point is that even with a relentless pro-biking attitude, I'm still solidly dependent on oil myself. You don't really have a choice. When people post things like "if u dont like it u can walk looser", it's just a troll.

On the other hand, I agree totally with you in this sense: people who deliberately set themselves up for over two hours of driving in traffic every day, all year long, and then, and then complain about gas prices are sad.
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  #18  
Old 05-24-2008, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Ayslynn View Post
If you do not think that the 3 Big oil companies are not a monopoly then you really have no idea about economics and world culture.
Its not a monopoly if there's more than one player. So I would drop the condescending nonsense and focus on issues, that is if your trying to make a point.

So what do you want our best buddy the government to do to fix this? Punitive taxes? That worked REAL well the last time in 1980. That is the last time congress pulled that kind of crap and oil prices JUMPED 3 to 6 percent and dependence on foreign sources of oil jumped by 8-16%.

If the government REALLY wanted to help they could cut taxes on oil. They could cut sales taxes along the whole supply chain. That would drop costs by 20% or higher in some municipalities. Our beloved Democrat congress could allow drilling in ANWAR, which is nothing but desolate tundra populated by about 200 some people, all who live their to support oil production. 10 BILLION barrels of US oil, which is not subject to the powder kegs of the middle east and Venezuala.

Now try and get this: While the dollar amount of oil company profits is indeed huge, the profit margin is in line with other industries.Over the past several decades, oil company profit margins have been below the national average for all industries. When you run a huge ass company like Exxon or BP you really do deserve a couple million dollar salary.


The best way to get lower oil prices is to exapand domestic sources of oil in the short term, in the long term develop an alternative energy strategy that makes sense. Nuclear power with subsidized electric cars and public transit for instance.

Bitching about oil industry profits, which are IN LINE WITH ALL OTHER INDUSTRIES as percentage, is simplistic, and demonstrates that you really have no idea about economics or world culture.

Anyhow this whole thing ought to be in the debate forum.
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  #19  
Old 05-24-2008, 06:16 AM
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Whether you support ANWAR drilling or not, my concern is not with oil or where we get it, but rather our severe lack of infrastructure to move toward more efficient modes of public transportation.

We lack the ability to move masses of people in ways that would ease the cost of gas by cutting down on its consumption (whether we're talking oil, soy, ethanol, etc.). I applaud NYC's move to all hybrid taxi fleets by 2010. That will cut gas consumption dramatically, per day, per gallon.

One solution I've seen proposed, though never really supported is to use renewable energy resources to power the fuel conversion of alternatives, such as soy or ethanol. Even if it continues to cost more energy to produce those alternatives than we end up getting from the alternatives, using renewable resources would cut down dramatically on carbon emitting power plants.

Similarly, America needs standardization among its nuclear power plants. Lack of standardization makes it difficult to consider large scale nuclear alternatives as specialization and engineering costs become obstacles.
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  #20  
Old 05-24-2008, 07:10 AM
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So to summarize a bit, there seem to be three main points of contention:
1) the responsibility of a corporation to society
2) the role of government in regulating society
3) what should be done about oil prices and by whom

A couple of points:

Basically a corporation has only one function and responsibility, to produce money for its shareholders. I have seen arguments to the effect that a corporation is an amoral entity (ie not bound by morality or ethics).

Philosophically the role of the US government is described in the preamble to the constitution: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. In theory the government is also hired by and answerable to us, the voting public.

So the question is to what extent can/should the government interfere with corporations in order to fulfill its obligation to "promote the general Welfare?"
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