National Oil

by Rocket Finance

Why do so many people assume that corporations are constantly out to fleece the consumer, but the goals of the federal government are pure as the wind-driven snow?

Earlier this week, in response to a statement from a Shell oil executive that gas prices could be above $5 in the near future, U.S. Representative, Maxine Waters uttered the following:

Then guess what this liberal will be all about? This liberal will be all about sociali. . . um, ah . . . would be about, basically taking over, and the government running all of your companies.

Check her statement out here on youtube.

Instead of trying to find legitimate ways for the government to solve the oil crisis by listening to those who are experts on energy, Maxine Waters would rather let the federal government run the industry. The unfortunate thing is that many Americans are too ignorant to recognize that nationalizing oil is a really bad idea. I have seen comments throughout the internet that think the U.S. should be “more like Venezuela or China” where the central government owns the oil business and greatly subsidizes the price of oil.

Sounds like a plan to me. Yes, let institution that is well-known for deficit spending, bureaucracy, general incompetence and multi-trillion dollar debt solve our oil problem. I am certain that there would never be any scandals involving oil . . . or oil for food. . . In fact, why don’t we just give our energy infrastructure to Hugo Chavez and the Chinese communists and allow them to keep our oil prices down? Why create a new government agency. The Venezuelan and Chinese do such a good job in their countries, why not ours? Personally, I’ll take my chances with the CEO’s from Shell and Exxon.

Here are some observations:

The average profit margin for most of the oil companies is around 6 to 7 percent.

The profit margin for Bank of America in 2007 was 17 percent.

I own stock in oil companies, so do most of you. I want them to make a profit, so should you.

Big oil paid more taxes to the federal government last year than the aggregate total of the bottom 90% of US tax payers. Who will pay those taxes if big oil is dissolved?

I wonder if the price of oil would decrease if the government gave “big oil” the same subsidies that it gives to ethanol producers and farmers?

I also enjoyed the spectacle of Senator Herb Kohl from my homestate of Wisconsin grilling the oil CEO’s about their “unconscionable” annual salaries of $2 or $3 million. Mr. Kohl owns several “big” businesses himself and his own net worth is well over $300 million. If his money earns 1% interest annually, he makes $3 million per year. I wonder if he considers his compensation to be unconscionable? Maybe he could use his own net worth to reduce the price of oil. He sure is excited about spending other people’s hard-earned wealth to keep gas prices down. Maybe we should hold hearings on his salary.

I am sure that nationalizing the gas and oil business is not an imminent development, however, Ms. Water’s statement shows that there are at least some in positions of power who would like every area of our lives to be controlled by the government.

Let us remember one of Ronald Reagan‘s famous quotations:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

Our personal finance is greatly affected by the price of gasoline. Our personal freedom is also affected by the price and availability of gasoline. I hope you are paying attention to this national dialogue.

  1. 6 Responses to “National Oil”

  2. By Pete on May 30, 2008 | Reply

    great post! Let’s hope that they don’t decide to nationalize oil.. what a snafu that would be. ugh.

  3. By Becky@FamilyandFinances on May 30, 2008 | Reply

    Very well written! I’m totally with you on this. I prefer for the government to keep their grubby little hands out of things as much as possible 🙂

  4. By rocketc on May 30, 2008 | Reply

    I prefer to allow individuals, local municipalities and private charitable groups to solve problems. Sometimes, even big business is good at solving problems.

  5. By Aaron Stroud on May 31, 2008 | Reply

    That video was simultaneously funny and terrifying.

  6. By rocketc on May 31, 2008 | Reply

    They are out of the closet. Too bad our general population does not understand the importance of that moment.

  7. By chris on Jul 14, 2008 | Reply

    Nice article.
    @aaron Stroud: I agree with that.

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