Sunday, January 29, 2006

Ok, yea, it's 6. Whatever

I mean, I don't even think it should be considered a "conspiracy" anymore when we talk about how we don't have universal health care or that we're still dependent on foreign oil or that media outlets are concentrated. The people who are in charge of those things are making lots of money - HMOs, energy companies and utilities, media conglomerates - and they're the ones contributing millions and millions of dollars to the candidates who support maintaining the status quo. They're the ones in the position to affect change, and of course they won't do it because they're raking in the billions with their short-term greed and long-term negligence.

In the last fiscal year, with gas prices skyrocketing and consumers feeling the burden of our oil addiction and the squeeze of inflation, ExxonMobil and many other oil companies reported record profits. I'm not an economics guy, but shouldn't their profits go down if, like the good little capitalists that Americans think they are, they're trying to help us by shouldering the burden a little instead of continuing to stick to outdated business models designed to keep wealth (and thereby power) concentrated at the top of the corporate and governmental structures?

And while we're ranting, why can't we just give up the idea of the American dream and instead of chasing after status we'll never have by buying shit we don't need and ruining everything on the planet be satisfied by what we've got in front of us? Why can't we learn from the Europeans and Asians and nearly every other fucking place on the planet and realize that the chances of becoming fabulously wealthy just aren't that great for so many of us? Wouldn't it be nicer to enjoy the present than squander all we have so that, at some later date, we may or may not be able to say "I did it!"?

Eh, it's probably just me. I've had a touch of indigestion lately.

4 Comments:

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Steve said...

There's nothing like 6 AM to bring out the rant in anyone.

 
At 1:48 PM, Blogger Steve said...

...shit. i meant everyone. i was distracted by a pretty ridiculous giants b-sides cd i just picked up last night. i'll have to get a copy to you.

 
At 3:56 PM, Blogger Face of Spades said...

Record profits sounds like an awful gouge-fest at the expense of the American public, but there's another explanation.

Part of the destruction of this past hurricane season involved a decent chunk of our country's oil refineries. That is where the supply bottleneck is, not in the amount of crude. So when the already-insufficient refining industry suffers more production setbacks, the only way to prevent widespread shortages is to raise prices like a motherfucker.

In California in 2001, they had a similar problem with electrical power. Due to environmental activism, not enough new power plants were built to meet demand, and the power companies had to import from out-of-state suppliers. However, the California legislature had placed price ceilings on the power companies, so they could not raise prices at the same pace as the out-of-state suppliers who were responding to the new surge of demand. Without high prices to force consumers to scale back their energy consumption, the power companies went bankrupt, the state was struck with rolling blackouts, and Gray Davis resigned, paving the way for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Most likely, this is the lesser of two evils.

 
At 11:36 PM, Blogger Robb said...

face of spades is my new favorite blogger. Well stated.

 

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