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Re: OT: Politics [Was:Social Contract]

Cybe R. Wizard wrote:
On Mon, 01 May 2006 10:16:42 -0400
"Roberto C. Sanchez" <roberto@familiasanchez.net> wrote:

- Please explain in simple, economically sound terms (using math),
*how* the oil companies are profiting hand over fist, at our expense
- I am not a bozo, I am knowledgable and well educated (about to
finish an M.S. in CompEng) and I voted for Bush, *gasp* even though I
*didn't* like him.  Know why?  Even though I didn't like him, he was
still better than the alternative.

US $9,900,000,000 (billion) profits /by one oil company/ in one
quarter when retail prices were skyrocketing.  Does that seem like the
oil cartel has the American interests at heart?

From last October, here:

By Anne Thompson
Chief financial correspondent
NBC News
Updated: 7:20 p.m. ET Oct. 28, 2005

NEW YORK - In a summer marked by hurricanes and $3 gasoline, the oil
companies struck gold.

Friday, Chevron joined the eye-popping profits parade. The nation's No.
2 oil company reported earnings of $3.6 billion. The totals only get
bigger: Conoco Phillips made $3.8 billion, BP made $6.5 billion, Royal
Dutch Shell made $9 billion and Exxon Mobil raked in a whopping $9.9
billion in just three months.

“Exxon made more than any other company, as a matter of fact,” says
Howard Silverblatt, a market equity analyst with Standard & Poor's.
“Their profits by themselves were more than 492 companies made for the
entire year within the S&P 500.”

Something around 40 billion /in profit/ for 3 months.  IS there nothing
wrong with this picture?

Yes there is something seriously wrong with this picture: you don't understand basic economics.

Who cares about profits?  It's all about profit margins.  Some facts:

- oil consumption is at an all time high in the US
- China's oil consumption is going through the roof (I read in an IEEE article that they are currently having such a hard time getting energy there that some neighborhoods are dark 70% of the time, that is 5 out of 7 days in a week they are without power; or 118 hours out of the week) - supply is stagnant (our government won't let companies drill here in Alaska and Florida or build new refineries; OPEC has limited production)
- demand is skyrocketing

As far as profit margins, the profit margins of oil companies are in line with other large industries (automotive, drugs, appliances, etc). The thing is, they are selling a lot more oil now becuase of increased demand. The stagnant supply means that prices *must* go up.


The Taliban, on several occasions, offered to turn over Osama bin Laden
to a third country for trial, once the case against him was made known.
The Bush administration rejected this outright, making no effort to
explore that possibility or to negotiate. Would it not have been far
more preferable to at least try that solution rather than proceeding to
bomb, causing untold deaths of civilians, jeopardizing the lives of
U.S. troops, alienating a large proportion of the world's population,
and risking a wider world war?
Is nothing wrong with this picture?

That's not the whole story. The State Dept tried for years before that. Read this article:


It was saved from the Washington Post and includes a number of quotes from people involved in the negotiation process. The incident referred to in your article above happened in Oct 2001, shortly before the start of military action. Basically, Bush wanted bin Laden and all his lieutenants turned over to stand trial in the US justice system and all the training camps destroyed. They basically wanted "turn over" (they didn't *really* want to turn him over) *only* bin Laden and then, only to a third party. I would call that far less than half-hearted. I think he made the right choice. There were too many strings attached to the Taliban offer.

Roberto C. Sanchez

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