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View Diary: Oil company earnings skyrocket, taxpayer subsidies continue (77 comments)

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  •  Yep...and the alternative is??? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    Have an alternative to the free market for us?  In my view, it's the best "system" humans have come up with so far...but, hey, if you have a better solution to doing away with all of the ills of humanity from an economic standpoint, let's hear it.

    •  Free markets are great. I love 'em, but you've (2+ / 0-)

      got to have them, and...
      you've got to understand them, not merely chant the mantra.

      As it stands, free markets say that oil is a terrible threat to our national security.

      Why?

      Because we depend on it, because we import a large minority of what we use, and because 1.2 billion Chinese, 1 billion Indians, and countless other Asians, Africans, and South Americans are stepping up to compete with us for the remaining supplies.

      And -- oh, yeah -- we are having to work harder and harder to pull it up out of the ground, which can be sustained only if it gets more and more expensive -- which, fortunately for those who sell it, it will.

      Sensible policy would have us working very hard to ensure that alternative energy sources have a fighting chance to compete. It certainly wouldn't have us subsidizing oil exploration -- and certainly not by giving away oil leases, etc.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 12:02:55 PM PDT

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      •  Hmmmmm (0+ / 0-)

        And so, if we, as a country, have the capability to extract oil from our own "reserves" and/or have the captabilty to get oil from a "friendly" neighbor like Canada to help us bridge the gap between oil use and alternative energy sources in the U.S....you're not okay with that?

        Let's do some thinking here just a bit, okay?

        •  Where ever did you get an idea like that? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          In her own Voice, Meteor Blades

          Perhaps you should look in the mirror before suggesting somebody else do a little thinking.

          If we're smart, we'll be going gung ho to get to those alternative energy sources before the cost of oil absolutely craters us.

          However, subsidizing the oil companies is bad policy all the way around.
          Not only does it mean taking tax money that could be better spent elsewhere (reducing the deficit or even returned to -- scratch that -- not lifted from -- taxpayers in the first place), it helps out folks who don't need our help.

          That's just silly.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 12:25:14 PM PDT

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          •  I didn't speak to subsidies for oil companies. (0+ / 0-)

            My post is about getting our own oil supplies being used as a bridge to get alternative energy sources.

            I look in the mirror every day, my friend.  I like what I see.  You?

            •  Yeah, your post is about "drill, baby, drill," and (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pot

              implicit is the "use it up" ethic that feeds so nicely into the YBG-IBG mentality that is fuckking all the rest of us and our grandchildren. I bet you do not bet, financially speaking, on anything to do with getting to sustainable levels of "alternative energy sources," maybe other than ethanol from corn or something.

              A lot of fakers are happy to say that this, that or the other thing, land, water, PEOPLE, for Christ Jesus' sake, should be "used up" on the way to some impossible goal, and are making a killing, literally and financially, on suckering the rest of us into going for Frakking and Mountaintopping and sticking two-mile-deep holes in the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico under two miles of water. (figures rounded for impact, for you Pecksniffs who would object to the points above because of "inaccuracy.")

              "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

              by jm214 on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 01:57:14 PM PDT

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              •  Wow...hahaha (0+ / 0-)

                Look, I'm not thinkin' Jesus is gonna give us more energy and I'm not thinkin' that oil will forever be our energy "savior".  Give me a clue, jm.  I am saying that we must make sure we have oil-based energy until we get alternative energy sources in place.

                If you think that's not the case, then shame on you.

                Rhetoric and spin and innuendo and hateful remarks means squat here.  

                Thanks.

            •  My mistake. I thought you were a free market (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pot

              type.

              A free market type would not believe in such a thing as "our own oil supplies" when dealing with a global commodity.  Prices go up in accordance to global demand, without regard to local impact.

              To be "our own oil supplies" would require something in the nature of nationalizing the oil industry, or, at the very least, oil reserves.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 02:11:03 PM PDT

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    •  Yeah, Controlled Market. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jm214

      Like the one we've been living under for the last 70 years. The one greedy dickheads have been undermining for the last 30 or so.

    •  A mythical beast (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cruz, antirove

      there is no free market, just socialism for the rich, capitalism for the rest. The American market fundamentalists pushed a purely theoretical version of a supposedly free market on the Russia emerging from the USSR, one they had never tried themselves in their long history. The result was oligarchs and massive looting of state assets. The free market allows 90cents of every dollar in the Timber industry to be taxpayer subsidies. It allows national assets in Minerals to be bought per acre for the price of a cheeseburger. When Wall street made money it was theirs, when they lost money the debt was ours. Time to slay this myth once and for all.  

    •  "A" Free Market Exists, But Not All are Subject To (4+ / 0-)

      it.

      We have a small segment of anti-market businesses that increasingly operate under principles that have little or nothing to do with the priniciples of a free market.

      We have a large segment of businesses that continue to operate in a regulated but still largely free market.

      If we fail to identify both for what they are, we will fail in our attempts to put this country back on a decent and reasonable path.

      Folks like the oil companies, big finance, big pharma, health insurance companies, frankly most of the behemoth class of business that invest hundreds of millions to elect and then "invest" hundreds of millions more to influence our government officials do not do it in their eternal struggle for a 'free market'.

      They may rankle under some of the content regulations intended to protect consumer safety, working conditions, wage & hour or other workplace issues,  or environmental standards.

      But the "fetters" they really want removed are those that protect the operation of the market itself, "fetters" that prevent these market players from enagaging in the kind of anti-competitive conduct that puts influence at a higher premium than ingenuity; that puts power at a higher premium than competition based on quality or price; and that puts international profit at a higher premium than the national or local business community, labor community and consumer community from which they recieve their international protection of both civil and military infrastructure.

      In this "market" campaign contributions are considered capital investments and wagers placed in side-bet parlors of international finance are treated as if they provide actual useable capital to the businesses on which the wagers are placed - even where in some cases 80% or more of those wagers are placed by those who have no stake in those companies.

      In this market, the underlying value of collateral and the underwriting risks that might be ascertained from the borrowers' performance history are irrelevant in pricing of related (unregulated) securities, replaced by mathmatical formulas concocted with the help of phycisits, and the pricing guidance of that day's or hour's direction of the over/under betting on performance or default in those financial side-bet parlours.

      These wealthy, powerful and terribly influential companies do not spend those millions and billions to ensure a free, level and open playing field with the lowest possible barriers to entry and exit.  

      Nor do they spend that influence money to guaranty the highest possible transparency or to ensure fully informed arm's-length negotiations.

      They do it to distort and manipulate our economic policy to their own narrow ends and their own selfish benefit, and in the process they remake the "market" in their own image.   (Adam Smith recognized the danger of this and warned that it must be protected against - a figurative 'chapter' of the Wealth of Nations that the supposed "free market fundamentalists"  conveniently ignore because it conflicts with their true aims.)

      To put a wild guess on it, I'd say 90-95% of our businesses operate in a free market where free enterprise principles still dominate (modified somewhat by regulation generally applicable without reference to company identity), while 5% of the businsses operate in a modern version of the very system Adam Smith was trying to stamp out, where concentrated wealth and power manipulate the government policies to further concentrate their wealth and power, leading to inefficiencies and distortions in the market.  

      Trouble is, that 5% of the businesses dominate both Wall Street and the Beltway and account for a disproporationate segment of our GNP.  

      Failure to account for these two seperate, and very different markets is one of the things that hurts us with the mainstreet businesses with whom we share many common goals and values.

      That broad-brush approach also makes it easier for the One Percenters (those 1% highest income and wealth) that dominate the behemoth class of the 5% anti-market businesses to misuse both the small businesses and the upper-middle and moderately wealthy individuals who populate the 95% free market businesses as political cannon-fodder.

      We'd rather dream the American Dream than fight to live it or to give it to our kids. What a shame. What an awful, awful shame.

      by Into The Woods on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 12:45:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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