Thursday, February 01, 2007

 

Calling All Populists

Can someone please provide me an intellectual argument as to why it is alright for Google to profit to the tune of nearly 30% of revenues but it is an “obscene” profit for Exxon Mobil to make not even 10.5% of revenues?

Reading the initial press reports, I don’t discern a scintilla of angst that maybe those guys in California are making way too much money and, more dangerously, contributing to the ever-widening and supposedly bad for the economy gap between the rich and the rest of us. Sure, Exxon makes a lot of money but it also streams a lot of it back to its shareholders…you know; retirees, pension funds, middle class families investing for the future….

But you won’t read anything about that in the Washington Post, instead it reports on something the Washington Post has been an enthusiastic part of:

“The company has been under the spotlight for a year now, since it reported record quarterly earnings at the end of 2005. Supply disruptions from Hurricane Katrina pushed fuel prices higher, and the image of the world's largest publicly traded oil company profiting from that event drew fire from public interest groups and some members of Congress.” High Oil and Gas Prices Generate Exxon's Record Year

(Ed. Note: Public interest groups? Try “Special Interest Groups” – anybody that would at all act in any way to discourage a legitimate company (i.e. just about anything or anybody BUT Hugo Chavez) from supplying us with oil products is most assuredly NOT acting in this member of the public’s interest.)

Prior related rants: More oil company shenanigans; Where are the Demagogues??, Great News in Energy;

Comments:
Making a profit is actually the least offensive thing a publicly traded company can do. It's the companies that have a hard time making a free-market profit that start rent-seeking from the government through public-policy gimmicks and K Street schmear.
 
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