A lot of people are really up in arms about the oil companies, and I gotta say I’m not exactly pleased as punch myself. But all this talk about how unfair it is for these companies to make all this money while Americans are paying so much for gasoline and how they should be taxed extra and so on and so on defies belief.
As far as I can tell, oil companies made about 73.8 gazillion dollars in profit last year. This, of course, is a lot of money. How did they make it? Mostly by buying, processing, transporting, and dispensing gasoline and related products, of course.
As far as I can tell, Americans bought approximately 189.3 braziiliongillion gallons of gasoline and related products last year. This works out to a profit of x cents per gallon, and a profit margin of n.
We also get silliness about how the Dems have a record of voting against energy policy because they want to cut the lifeline on oil and encourage alternative sources of energy.
This, apparently, means things like nuclear electrical plants, oil from coal, and wind farms off Cape Cod.
Good to know that the Dems have been championing these programs while the Republicans line up to line Dick Cheney’s pockets. Why doesn’t someone just wave the magic wand and convert all of our cars to run off of good intentions?
Most of the alternative energy options only make sense when oil prices are high, anyway. Wave that magic wand to get oil back to $75 a barrel and the R&D will dry up real quick.
I’m in favor of alternative energy. Give me a plug-in electric car with sufficient range, performance, and options powered by nuclear plants and we have ourselves a deal. Want to use solar or wind instead of nukes? Make it pay and we have a deal.
Don’t like the price of gas? Stop buying so damn much of it.
Want to impose punitive taxes? That’s smart. Adding two cents tax per gallon surely won’t raise the price of gas by two cents per gallon, will it?
I love it when all sorts of people know how to manage things better than supply and demand.
So are we agreed that windfall taxation for all companies earning profit margins equal to or exceeding Big Oil’s profit margin are in order?
UPDATE: Upon reflection I guess I want to add that I’m necessarily claiming that any particular commenters on this site are the ones I disagree strongly with. There’s no doubt that I disagree with at least some of what some commenters are saying, but I will be the first to say that most MO commenters generally are fairly knowledgeable about the topic at hand and have a fair number of facts backing up what they say. End suck-up.
I still want to know if all businesses with oil’s profit margins are gouging the American people.