Blame the Consumer?


John Wright


I read an article in Microsoft® Network’s financial section a few days ago about windfall oil company profits in the quarter just ended. The gist was that 1) oil company profits are far lower per dollar of sale than those of Yahoo® or Google® or similar companies (so what?), and 2) all the government can do with attempting to control oil prices will simply create larger problems (by giving us back gasoline taxes they never should have taken in the first place, which would make the government debt position a.k.a. war even worse), and 3) it is up to the consumer to stop using so much oil. Wow! There is no doubt about the author’s loyalty, is there? Clearly, according to the mouthpiece jackass, we consumers are at fault.

I should add that the author did say one thing that made sense, albeit in a backhanded way … that the cost of alternative energy starts looking better with higher oil prices. In short, the consumer will take a major financial hit, ongoing, no matter what "anyone" does. That I do not believe. Of course, it is our fault for, uh, buying the SUV’s and other high gasoline consumption vehicles that Washington has allowed Detroit to produce! It is also our fault for using home heating oil, natural gas and propane in homes the builders never insulated properly.

So now we have folks jumping on the ethanol wagon … from corn. But no one wants to talk about the greenhouse gases we will create just to get that ethanol. Bloody fools! Alternative energy doesn’t mean exacerbating the greenhouse gas problem!

There is no innocence in Washington, Detroit or Houston. Politicians, manufacturers and energy suppliers are the guilty parties. All have long known that oil would one day be subject to supply shortages, however they came about. If it isn’t declining production it is increasing demand, like China. Who created modern industrialized China, the little guy in the USA? Who continued to ignore the critical need for alternative energy investments, your lawn service worker? Who failed to do timely research into making and then marketing more fuel efficient automobiles? Who allowed homebuilders to skimp on materials via lax building codes?

I recall with total clarity the day in 1985 when our comptroller at the DuPont Company business where I was employed informed us, as a Division, that all over the company employees were being told that profits weren’t adequate and that corporate management had determined that they, the minor employees, were overpaid and under worked, and that the situation would be corrected with dispatch. That day stands out in my mind because it was so obviously sick for the decision makers to blame the minor employees for the bad strategic and tactical decisions of the management over many decades. Who did the hiring? Who set the pay scales? Who decided what research to do and what products to commercialize? Who decided how to market and price the products? Not the little guys.

So it is that any attempt by the powerful to blame the little guy irks me to the core. When they screw up, we are expected to bend over and … well, you get my point. Why submit to control or even feign respect when that control is incompetent or bought out by special interests? Do you not have the right to be loyal in proportion to the loyalty shown to you?

It would be most easy to expand the subject matter of this article to cover massive abuse by government and businesses regarding illegal immigration, but I will simply say that uncontrolled profit motive has once again been allowed to undermine our present quality of life and most definitely that for our future. We don’t need any immigrants from any place at this time in history. Moaning about our past as a nation of immigrants is complete bullshit. On one hand, we were empty except for Indians in the beginning of colonization, which no one referred to as immigration, and we killed most of the Indians. Second, we brought in immigrants in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries because we badly needed laborers. We also brought in slaves (in retrospect, was that a forward thinking smart move? Is it smart today with Mexicans and other Hispanics?). Today we only hurt ourselves by increasing our population with no thought about composition or future need. Today we have too few good paying jobs, thanks to our asinine and disloyal corporations offshoring jobs, and no need at all for masses of uneducated people to undermine the availability or goodness of even our lower paying jobs. The problem is that of the powerful taking no responsibility for the legacy they leave the rest of the society in the pursuit of profits. They must be stopped cold.

Big guys are bad guys? Yep. If you focus on societal results instead of the lies about high ideals and motives, they simply are bad for the health and wellbeing of the mass of ordinary USA citizens. So it was in history when their span of control was much less (the robber barons and Tammany Hall). So it is today when we are herded into high population area enclaves (huge cities that blend into each other) where we become increasingly ignorant and poorer financially. We are not becoming stronger or better empowered to seek life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. We do, however, have fast food and lots of fat. Whee! Aldous Huxley would be amazed with our golden arches soma!

I wrote seriously about wealth limits in my book Destiny. Perhaps now is a good time to remind you that no individual should be permitted wealth in excess of $5,000,000, for excess wealth is used improperly to amass power, and that denies money and lesser power opportunity to others. Similarly, corporations and financial institutions must be broken down into at least ten times as many independent entities as exist now, to provoke real competition. And total corporate assets must be limited to limit corporate power. Similarly, government must be downsized in income and span of control. End all the entitlement programs, except for education. End all health and liability insurance programs and watch litigation and health care costs plummet.

This item just in … gold sold yesterday for over $700 per troy ounce. Two months or so ago it was passing the $600 per ounce level, and I wrote about it then relative to my forecast from an article in December 2004. This caused me to think once more about my old standby regarding inflation … major items like cars and homes inflate five to ten times in cost every thirty years. Do you remember when the federal government first allowed gold to float above $35 per ounce? 35 into 700 yields 20. I think a multiplier of twenty tells the story about inflation in the USA … and all the hell for the small savers because of that inflation. Should you buy gold now? Not me. The correction has now occurred and opportunity to make a lot of money has now turned into highly speculative risk. Perhaps this last round of increases in oil prices "fueled" the gold price increase. Pun intended.

We "live in interesting times" as the old Chinese saying goes. We are losing control. Our social infrastructure is failing. Our would-be leaders in government and business are utterly self-serving and they are thus our enemies. And while I can understand voting the political bums out, who can we elect that will fairly represent us and reverse the destruction of our country and our future? Who will un-elect the corporate bums?

Where, pray tell, is the alternative 3rd party? Is that our fault? Maybe so.