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In late 1945 my father was part of the Marine Corp. occupation forces that occupied Japan after the surrender. One of the things that he used to talk about was how the Japanese had figured out how to power their cars when gasoline became unavailable. They didn't use electricity, they were able to adapt them to burn wood and charcoal.


Ugly, but it apparently worked. I for one don't really care what we use to move our cars so long as the petrolium industry takes it in the shorts. They have gouged and stolen from the public long enough.
 

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... at a 7% rate of profit, oil companies make less on a percent basis than most all other industries in America.

May 13, 2008
Too "Complex"?
By Thomas Sowell

Link

As many columists have written, it is the government who earn far more in taxes on the oil industry, than the oil companies make in profits.
 

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Sorry Jason, I don't buy that oil industry line of reasoning. :mad: Commodity speculators drive the oil futures market, a market setup and sustained by an unholy alliance between oil companies and oil producers to benefit those two camps. If the oil companies were only making pennies on a gallon of gas how do you explain the obscene mulit-billion dollar profit margins that those companies have posted over the past couple of years?

Futures markets only benefit the speculator and the corporation. Stability comes from long term contracts. The oil companies designed and setup the current system in the 70's and 80's to replace long term contracts because they thought it would benefit them, and it really has. There appears to be only two ways to break this strangle-hold now. Either we find alternatives to petrolium and give the power back to the people (i.e. electric cars), or the government steps in, rations gasoline, and forces market changes to require long term contracts and end seculation in a product that is too important to our national security to be left in the hands of greedy speculators. Of course there is a third alternative... Leave the system as it is and allow the speculators to destroy the USA as we know it.

I for one want a product like the Volt that will allow me to take back control from the oil companies and free me and my family from the whims of speculators and foreign powers.
 

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I wouldn't call the population explosions and economic booms in China and India wild speculation.

If you simply read the link I provided, you will see that oil producers couldn't possibly collude to get the Chinese and Indians to explode their populations and grow their economies.
 

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pennor1, Thanks for the picture. Reminds me of all the stories I heard about how engineers figured out how to do so much with so little during and after the war. We might just be headed back to those days if the Peak Oil people are right. When that happens we won't be comparing renewables to oil anymore. We will just be trying to figure out how to move our stuff to our farms. Anyway, I agree that the current system is just plain crazy. Yes, Anthony James the III can move his millions from US currency to oil commodities to protect from inflation but average Joe is, as you say, taking it in the shorts and he is curled up in the fetal position. Painful to watch.
 

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If the oil companies were only making pennies on a gallon of gas how do you explain the obscene mulit-billion dollar profit margins that those companies have posted over the past couple of years?
Because 1) they sell billions of gallons of the stuff. All those pennies add up. 2) They not only make and sell gasoline, but every other petroleum product (as well as natural gas and all it's derivatives) and most important, they produce the crude oil itself, so they're selling that too. They're just doing what has been asked of them, make as much return for their investors as they can. It's really that simple.

or the government steps in, rations gasoline, and forces market changes to require long term contracts and end seculation in a product that is too important to our national security to be left in the hands of greedy speculators.
You only have to look south of the border to see how well government run oil and refining benefits the people. In Mexico there is only one oil company run by the government and guess what? their gas prices are pretty much the same as ours, only a lot more of their folks can't afford it. They are a nation that has a fair amount of oil themselves and should be raking in the dough from high oil prices right now then disbursing the profits back to the people or improving their lives in some way, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

So would government regulated oil and gas production make our lives better? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is for sure, a lot of people's 401ks would not quite live up to expectations. That's right, the same average Joes that grumble about high oil company profits are the same ones that put away money in 401k and other investment schemes that they hope help them live in retirement someday, and those folks that manage those funds often quite wisely invest in oil companies.

I'm not saying we have to love oil companies or hate them. They just are what they are and we are going to need them for quite along time. So just except them and whenever possible, try to just buy less of their products, just like most of you already do with Microsoft. The other guys with obscene profits.
 

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Barak Obama said that the white middle class was bitter and clinging to guns and religion because of that. I guess I must be one of those of whom he speaks. Though I admit only to clinging to the guns and not the religions so much. I will admit to being somewhat bitter though, and I think that many of us have a right to be.

You see, I retired early on a fair pension to enjoy what was left of my life. My hobby has always been old cars. We used to travel the Northwest going to car shows and events. My wife and I invested in a motor home and a boat so we could tour North America and enjoy what was left of our lives. This has all been stollen from us the the oil companies. My plan to drive the highways and byways of this great nation have been taken from me. Once I could budget to put 10,000 miles a year on the motor home. I planned to see New England, visit the southeast, and drive Al-Can highway to Alaska. Today I'm lucky to be able to take a short summer trip or two a couple of hundred miles from home. The rest of the time I stay home. I drive to town 2 or 3 times a week for necessary appointments and shopping. Meanwhile I sit at this desk and express my frustration on the Internet.
 

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In late 1945 my father was part of the Marine Corp. occupation forces that occupied Japan after the surrender. One of the things that he used to talk about was how the Japanese had figured out how to power their cars when gasoline became unavailable. They didn't use electricity, they were able to adapt them to burn wood and charcoal.


On a side note, this picture illustrates how far you have to go back to see when American car companies could sell cars to the Japanese. The car in the picture is a 1936 Plymouth P1 Sedan. Below is an attached photo of what this car might have looked like in happier times.
 

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pannor1, thank you for the picture. It brought me back to the late 40's when I used to watch bus drivers at my neighbourhood bus depot hand crank blower (attached to the gas generator) to start fire in the morning. Come to think of it now, it's carbon neutral! In remote wood logging sites this engine comes handy for driving electric generator or rotary saw. Actually wood chips and scraps are better fuel for this purpose than charcoal because of their water content (water turns into H2 along with CO and HC rather than CO only from charcoal).

I googled for more pictures:
http://www.toyota.co.jp/Museum/data_e/a03_19_1.html#1
http://www1.megaegg.ne.jp/~iwakuni/mokutan6.htm
 

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Couple of observations:

1) What is an "obscene" profit? For profit enterprises in a free market economy as supposed to make a profit. That is the core motivating factor. The consumers that buy and drive cars with no regard to fuel economy as well as utilizing energy with no regard to conservation should be blamed long before that companies profiting on their excesses. As long as the profits are made fairly and within the law then the companies making them should not be villified. We should be happy for any successful American businesses these days. It's the $ that goes overseas for oil/gas that is bothersome. Much of it going to countries and entities that are often manipulating the oil market in a way that is unfair.

2) Anybody believing that the major oil companies have only netted 7% in the last couple of years need to see a specialist about having the wool removed from their eyes. There is no way they could have been viable 2 years ago and before if they can only net 7% now. Their operating expenses could not have gone up that much.
 

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If you read the link I provided, you will see that oil producers could be the sneaky way to get the Chinese and the Indians exploded in population and economy grow.
 
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