Profit numbers can be deceiving

“Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corporation on Thursday posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company—$39.5 billion—even as earnings for the last quarter of 2006 declined 4 percent. The 2006 profit topped Exxon Mobil’s own previous record of $36.13 billion set in 2005.”
—Reno Gazette-Journal Online Edition, Feb. 1, 2007

I think a little history lesson is perhaps in order.

According to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the average movie ticket price in 1924 was 25 cents.

In 1905, the Ford Model T cost $850. By 1927, the Ford Model T Speedster cost about $300, and a daily newspaper cost about two cents a day.

Also in 1927, a gallon of gasoline cost about 26 cents. It stayed within a few cents of that figure for almost 20 years.

In 1930, the average cost of a new home was $3,845.

In 1938, the federal minimum wage was first set at 25 cents per hour.

According to the Automobile Association of America, the current price of gasoline on the West Coast is $2.54 a gallon. So in roughly eight decades, the price of our petroleum has jumped to about 10 times that our grandparents paid.

And yet what is astonishing is that liberals, (and their equally dim media counterparts) have the unmitigated gall to carp about the “record profits” of Big Oil—or even consider such things newsworthy. After all, as we know, Iraq was “all about oil” because of the President’s Big Oil connections. But the last time I checked, Iraq’s oil belonged to a free and democratic Iraq—unless that country’s last few elections were a mirage. Our country supports democracies. For example, just about every administration—with the sole exception of Jimmy Carter’s—supported Israel, then the only free and democratic nation in the area. And Israel is the only nation in said area not sitting on a pool of oil.

For the widows, orphans and retirees, I’m thinking record profits are a good thing—particularly when current dividends at Exxon-Mobil are at $1.28 a share. (So much for corporate greed.)

Also lost on the liberal loons was the passage of the Ethics in Government Act in 1978. It established the concept of blind trusts for officials in the executive branch to allow them to avoid potential conflicts of interest. (A pity Congress doesn’t see fit to mandate it for its members.) Although perhaps with this new Democratic Congress, the culture of corruption will be lifted, and all members will have similar blind trusts set up. (Not likely.)

But while they’re busy vilifying Big Oil, let’s look at the aforementioned examples for a moment.

Last time I looked, you couldn’t catch a movie—not even a matinee—for $2.50.

And forget about buying a new car for $3,000 or a daily for 20 cents. (OK. Maybe a daily in Ely.)

And how about buying a new home for $38,450? (Not even in Ely.) And yet record profits by Big Oil gets liberals’ undies in a wad?

OK, here’s one perhaps someone can explain.

If a tenfold increase is too much for Big Oil, then the current minimum wage—established under liberal Franklin Delano Roosevelt—should be exactly $2.50.

You’ll forgive me, but I don’t recall anything that guarantees the right to cheap gas. For that matter, there’s nothing that guarantees the right to a set wage.

That is, nothing guarantees it until it gets mandated by an uptight liberal with vapor lock.