7.29.2006

Big Oil is at it again!

Those nasty old oil companies are at it again--they're making money. How dare they? I mean, businesses are making money???

Here's a quote for you:

[The oil companies are] clearly getting rich at the expense of their customers.
--Mark Wolfe of the National Energy Assistance Directors Association.


Uh, yeah... that's typically what businesses do. Welcome to a somewhat free market!

You've got to love how the media plays with the statistics to make them sound as unreasonable as possible. I can hear the conversation in the newsroom: "Hey, why don't we take the total profits and divide up so we get the profits per day?" "No, wait, how about profits per minute? That'll get an even bigger reaction!" (I don't think I'm exaggerating too much. I've written newspaper articles before, and have learned that it's not really that hard to rephrase things in order to nudge your readers' thinking in a particular direction. I don't know that journalists do this intentionally, as my imaginary conversation suggests, but I'm convinced that it happens.)

Funny how that little profits-per-minute statistic is worth reporting, along with total profit, while the media somehow manages to ignore such obscure statistics as oil companies' profit margins--particularly in comparison with those of other industries!


Here's an interesting article on the topic. It's from last November, but it's still relevant.

1 comment:

Tim said...

I agree and think it's silly how the mainstream media is giving big oil such guff about their profits. I mean really, why would we want a big American corporation to be successful and profitable? Just because they aren't laying off their employees, cutting back their benefits, and are actually making money for their stockholders unlike other great American companies like GM and Ford doesn't mean we should penalize them. Back in the day, making a profit and driving the economy was considered a good thing. I guess today with our emphasis on equality and postmodern desire to not make anyone feel bad it is logical in a twisted sort of way to insist on mediocrity across the board instead of having some people succeed and others fail. Ahhh.... postmodernism got to love it!