11/14/2005

Our Friends, the Oil Companies

Oil-industry profits are at an all-time high. Are there calls in Congress for those companies to plow some of that money back into the infrastructure that makes their existence possible? That seems the most reasonable thing, after all, since it is we consumers who make a large segment of their vast profits possible.

(Homework: what portion of American oil industry profit derives from consumer purchases and what portion from governmental or other types of purchase?)

We buy their products and pay their salaries; you'd think they'd be grateful and return some of that profit to us in some material way--like cheap petroleum products! Since we live in an automobile culture! Instead, gas prices go up so far that I'm actually happy to seem them come back down to $2.50. Besides, what's a car culture for if not to be an endless revenue stream, at least until the oil runs out?

Maybe they could pay taxes--which I guess they do, in their own way. A few million for these Republicans here, a few million for those (fucking) Democrats there; if that's not supporting your government then I don't know what is.

But no, those profits seem destined to remain liquid, in the forms of compensation for executive management and securities, I would say. And R&D for new products to generate either real need or the illusion of need. In either case, it's a one-way revenue stream (there's that word again) to our disadvantage. The rich get richer and the poor get negative cash flow.

Did I mention advertizing?

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