I’m writing this post at great peril to my own personal safety. I may well be spirited away in the inky midnight, a victim of the bloodthirsty Nacht und Nebel policies of the most evil force ever unleashed–oil companies. But my conscience pains me so much that I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t break the story. If my blood be the fertilizer that boosts the pH of the Soil of Anti-Tyranny that eventually receives the Bulb of the Rose of Freedom so that the Bloom of Life can spread the Fragrance of Open Markets, so be it.
First, the oil industry is the only industry in the world that has no taxes, no overhead costs, no start-up costs, no maintenence costs, no insurance costs, no wage costs, or indeed, any sort of cost. Oh, you’ll see some claptrap in the oil-company-controlled media about “ExxonMobil spends $500 billion on new facility,” or “BP hires 1,000 at $35 an hour,” but that’s all smoke and mirrors. Evil smoke and demonic mirrors, used in the support of the evil, demonic oil companies. Every single cent an oil company receives is profit. The workers, trucks, supertankers, everything are all holograms. Or sometimes robots. Free robots, that work on the free equipment that equipment manufacturers are required by the government of the United Nations to supply to the oil companies for free.
Secondly, oil companies have absolutely no business risk. Literally every hole ever drilled by an oil company has turned into a never-ending gusher of pure profit. That profit flows through eternal equipment–provided free, as I’ve explained–through pipelines and via supertankers that also are constructed of unobtanium and therefore never rust or wear.
Perhaps the most insidious aspect of the oil industry is the way that every cent of their 100% profit business disappears. That’s right. The profits oil companies generate are never invested in their own businesses or any other stock or institution, never paid out in wages (to nonexistent workers) or in taxes (that are prohibited from being assessed throughout the universe). The billions upon billions of pure profit are taking to a secret location, known only as the Realm of the Fat Cats, where the Fat Cats, after dining on popcorn puppies, kitten tongues, and panda bladders in orange sauce, take turns seeing how high they can make the thermometer in the Holy Money Incinerator spike. No benefit to any nation’s economy is ever realized. The money just vanishes into the cruel night, where it can then be vented directly at the ozone layer, the better to kill all life on earth.
Pretty farfetched, I know, but it’s really a pastiche of the beliefs of many when it comes to the oil companies. “Oil companies are all about the money!” Like every single worker or business entity in the world, you mean? “Oil companies made record profits last year!” The meh-movie “Cars” made almost $500 million in ticket, video, and memorabilia sales, which shouldn’t happen in a just world. One of the main characters was voiced by Larry the Cable Guy, the most Southern redneck to ever come out of Pawnee, Nebraska, for crying out loud. In 2010, Bon Jovi–BON JOVI–had the top moneymaking rock tour, taking in $201 million. The Black Eyed Peas made…I’m sorry. I can’t finish that last sentence. I get the vapors, while simultaneously weeping for humanity. You’ll have to read it for yourself at that PollStar link. Is anybody doing what they should, and demanding that these “artists” repay the money they never would have made in a just world? Didn’t think so.
Of course, oil companies make multiple Bon Jovis a year. That’s not right, right? Well, if you had the chance to multiply your or your company’s income by a few Bon Jovis, would you turn down the opportunity? Does J.K. Rowling feel bad that she makes a few billion Bon Jovis more than the average writer? Saying that it’s “not right” a company makes a large profit is nothing but class envy. One of P.J. O’Rourke’s 10 economic principles (which I’ll fully expound on in a future post) is “the market is never wrong.” As O’Rourke says in his book Eat the Rich, “A thing is worth what people will give for it, and it isn’t worth anything else. If you have some shares of Apple Computer and you go into the NASDAQ market offering those
shares for $1,000 apiece, you may be brilliant. Apple stock may be worth $1,000, easy. And all the NASDAQ customers may be idiots for buying Apple at a mere thirty dollars.
A Macintosh is a much better computer than an IBM PC. But, smart as you are and dumb as everybody else is, the market says your shares didn’t sell. And the market is right.”
O’Rourke wrote the book several years before Apple became the all-conquering overlord of all things technical, so some of those references are dated, but the principles stand.
I’m going to continue this topic in subsequent posts, but in the meantime, your assignment is to estimate, without googling, how much in taxes ExxonMobil paid last year, per hour. And you will be required to show your work.