PDA

View Full Version : Oil Tzar!


Res_Ipsa
01-20-2012, 05:46 PM
http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/205085-dems-propose-reasonable-profits-board-to-regulate-oil-company-profits

He might be a principled, but Kucinich is still a loon. It is so nice that a government gets to decide what is a "reasonable profit." We all know this has a great amount of populist appeal, but is pure and simple Marxist theory.

Terez
01-20-2012, 05:55 PM
http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/205085-dems-propose-reasonable-profits-board-to-regulate-oil-company-profits

He might be a principled, but Kucinich is still a loon. It is so nice that a government gets to decide what is a "reasonable profit." We all know this has a great amount of populist appeal, but is pure and simple Marxist theory.You say that as if Marxist theory does not have populist appeal.

Zombie Sammael
01-20-2012, 06:01 PM
Makes sense to me. Oil is a dangerous industry in terms of having both great necessity and effective monopoly, so what's to stop the gas companies gouging the public for all they can except something like this? Out of control profits for something people need are certainly not something that's morally justifiable on anything but the most extreme Randian type conservatism.

Davian93
01-20-2012, 06:13 PM
We've had a mixed economy for 90 years. Considering how ridiculous speculation is getting, this is no different than the cap on milk prices or wheat...or paying farmers not to grow soy beans.

Also, Kucinich rocks.

Res_Ipsa
01-20-2012, 07:38 PM
You say that as if Marxist theory does not have populist appeal.

Yes, it has both but there really is very little understanding about the progressive left in this country and marxism. The term "socialism" has been so thoroughly used and abused that the mention of it is brings John Stewart to the mind. Basically, what the progressive left in this country is attempting to establish is a Marxist form of government. We both know you find that appealing Terez.


We've had a mixed economy for 90 years. Considering how ridiculous speculation is getting, this is no different than the cap on milk prices or wheat...or paying farmers not to grow soy beans.

Yes, we have a mixed economy but that does not mean I have to like the sheer lunacy of it. In point of fact, the FDR policies have had the direct impact of creating such a strong lobbying presence, bc it centralized wealth and put such an insane level of stricture that special interests arose in some form of a bizarre la la land.

An example, in LA you must pass a licensing exam in order to be a Florist. Well, the competition wants to artificially regulate the market so a special interest has arisen to keep people from passing the test and opening their own shops. Strange? Yes. True? Yes, I know the lawyer challenging it. The argument for the test and rules is that is makes sure that everything is "fair" and "reasonable." Pure garbage.

There is no such thing as the free market anymore.


Also, Kucinich rocks.
As admitted, he is principled. Even enough to rightfully bring an impeachment charge (that went nowhere, like the one against Bush) against Obama for the unconstitutional authorization of force in Libya.

Terez
01-21-2012, 04:34 AM
There is no such thing as the free market anymore.
I watched this (http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-january-19-2012/free-market-threat), and I thought of you.

Res_Ipsa
01-22-2012, 12:28 AM
I watched this (http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-january-19-2012/free-market-threat), and I thought of you.

I am not sure what you mean by that, but it would be no surprise that I look at something like a mafia as just another adversarial actor within an adversarial system. This is of course a non-moral way of looking at things.

GonzoTheGreat
01-22-2012, 04:39 AM
This is of course a non-moral way of looking at things.
That's the whole point of the free market ideology, isn't it? That morals do not matter, as long as you can do business.

If you want morals in your market system, then you need checks and sanctions, which means involving the government in the market.

Res_Ipsa
01-22-2012, 01:25 PM
That's the whole point of the free market ideology, isn't it? That morals do not matter, as long as you can do business.

If you want morals in your market system, then you need checks and sanctions, which means involving the government in the market.

Perhaps I should have said it was an amoral system because right and wrong do not enter the equation. It is not that they do not exist but rather it is a purist way of looking at something. On this board, people ask to like the grand "why." Often in connection with war or general concepts of morality. An adversarial system is analyzes the interaction of opposing forces where one is neither good nor evil.

Gilshalos Sedai
01-23-2012, 01:26 PM
Well... that bill passes, I'll be unemployed within the year.

Who the hell gets to determine what's "reasonable" given the enormous risks involved in drilling for oil and gas? That 102% profit on a well is paying for the dozen or so misses the company lost big money on.

Yet again, Congress is proving it's fucking stupid when it comes to the energy industry. It wants to prove it's "doing something." Especially in an election year.

Even if that "doing something," is cutting off the nose to spite the face.

Davian93
01-23-2012, 01:28 PM
Well... that bill passes, I'll be unemployed within the year.

Who the hell gets to determine what's "reasonable" given the enormous risks involved in drilling for oil and gas? That 102% profit on a well is paying for the dozen or so misses the company lost big money on.

Yet again, Congress is proving it's fucking stupid when it comes to the energy industry. It wants to prove it's "doing something." Especially in an election year.

Even if that "doing something," is cutting off the nose to spite the face.

I wouldn't worry too much...even if it somehow passed, it would probably cut profits about as well as the Affordable Healthcare Act did with the insurance industry....the same industry that has posted record profits since its enactment.

fdsaf3
01-23-2012, 01:32 PM
Well... that bill passes, I'll be unemployed within the year.

Who the hell gets to determine what's "reasonable" given the enormous risks involved in drilling for oil and gas? That 102% profit on a well is paying for the dozen or so misses the company lost big money on.

Yet again, Congress is proving it's fucking stupid when it comes to the energy industry. It wants to prove it's "doing something." Especially in an election year.

Even if that "doing something," is cutting off the nose to spite the face.

If only there were alternative forms of energy we could use that didn't rely on hazardous drilling techniques, created less pollution, and are almost infinitely renewable.

Hm.

Please, before anyone flies off the handle, this was meant to be read with tongue firmly in cheek. I do think the time has come to force a transition to alternative energy sources, but I'm not trying to start a holy war or debate on the subject.

Davian93
01-23-2012, 01:34 PM
Well, we could keep fracking for natural gas/shale oil...I mean, I've always wanted to live somewhere with regular earthquakes and ignitable tap water.

Gilshalos Sedai
01-23-2012, 01:34 PM
Ah, but medical insurance isn't the bogeyman of American politics. They're more a hidden evil.

They don't have large signs showing what their price per gallon is on every street corner.

And yes, it will impact my job. It's precarious enough as it is right now since my company produces mostly natural gas and we've had to cut back on all drilling since gas has hit an all time low (can't drill for shit on $3/MMCF). This bill might be a tipping point.

Gilshalos Sedai
01-23-2012, 01:36 PM
If only there were alternative forms of energy we could use that didn't rely on hazardous drilling techniques, created less pollution, and are almost infinitely renewable.

Hm.

Please, before anyone flies off the handle, this was meant to be read with tongue firmly in cheek. I do think the time has come to force a transition to alternative energy sources, but I'm not trying to start a holy war or debate on the subject.


You do realize that you can't force that? Especially not on a planet with 7 BILLION people, everyone of which is dependent upon fossil fuels? The "green energy industry" is in its infancy and cannot support that many people. Not now, and not in 30 years. We're better off trying to find cleaner, more efficient ways to do with less fossil fuels, not dumping them all together.

Davian93
01-23-2012, 01:41 PM
I burn anthracite coal to heat my home...much cheaper than oil. And its renewable too...it just takes a few million years is all.

fdsaf3
01-23-2012, 01:45 PM
I did say "force a transition", not "abandon fossil fuels tomorrow". I'm not sure, but it seems like this part of my post was missed.

I also did say that my previous post was not intended to be taken totally seriously. I attempted to forestall hypersensitive reactions by making that obvious. Again, just to be clear, I'm not trying to inflame anyone's sensitivities. If this conversation will only devolve into an argument, I'm going to respectfully and politely bow out now.

:)

Davian93
01-23-2012, 01:50 PM
As long as the gov't keeps subsidizing Solar and the price of panels keeps going down while efficiency keeps going up, consumers will keep buying them. VT, not exactly a good natural solar area, has seen an explosion in solar installations in the last few years.

It just depends on that continued subsidation is all.

Gilshalos Sedai
01-23-2012, 02:48 PM
I'm just tired of the bullshit of, "ALL OIL COMPANYZ IS TEH EVULZ!!!!!111ONEONE!11"

Terez
01-23-2012, 03:31 PM
lol. I think it's just a matter of the monopoly problem. Is your job really that unnecessary that you'd get laid off? I don't understand the concept that, if profits are cut, people have to be laid off. Just take a cut in your profits, people! If that's not the way it works, then there's something seriously wrong with the way that we do business IMO. But there are a lot of things going into prices, speculation among them, so if this legislation doesn't address speculation, then how will it control prices? In any case, if there is a cap on profits, then laying people off isn't going to help them. You can't make up your lost profits by laying people off because there's a cap.

Gilshalos Sedai
01-23-2012, 03:44 PM
lol. I think it's just a matter of the monopoly problem. Is your job really that unnecessary that you'd get laid off? I don't understand the concept that, if profits are cut, people have to be laid off. Just take a cut in your profits, people! If that's not the way it works, then there's something seriously wrong with the way that we do business IMO. But there are a lot of things going into prices, speculation among them, so if this legislation doesn't address speculation, then how will it control prices? In any case, if there is a cap on profits, then laying people off isn't going to help them. You can't make up your lost profits by laying people off because there's a cap.

No, this bill, as stated in that article, won't stop speculation. And yes, you can make up a decrease in your profits by cutting your overhead, ie, the people you pay and the facilities they work out of. This is exactly what happened in the 80s in the oil slump.

My company has issues for other reasons than Congressional Stupidity. Namely, one of the owners passed away. We're in limbo right now as my company tries to figure out where it's going from here. This bill, if passed, would just screw my small company over and guarantee we don't get bought out by a bigger fish, but instead just die.

confused at birth
01-23-2012, 03:48 PM
but if this is about cutting the amount of profit they can make there is no point in firing anyone.

That will just cut the amount they have to spend so the amount of profit they can make will be decreased by the amount they saved by cutting jobs

Davian93
01-23-2012, 03:51 PM
but if this is about cutting the amount of profit they can make there is no point in firing anyone.

That will just cut the amount they have to spend so the amount of profit they can make will be decreased by the amount they saved by cutting jobs

Or...as most of these companies are multi-nationals anyway, they could just move the more profitable divisions off-shore and leave the loss leaders on US soil and get a huge tax break/refund...like what GE did. I mean, that could and would never happen GENERAL ELECTRIC DID IT as it would just be unAmerican.

GE.

confused at birth
01-23-2012, 04:47 PM
Or...as most of these companies are multi-nationals anyway, they could just move the more profitable divisions off-shore and leave the loss leaders on US soil and get a huge tax break/refund...like what GE did.

Oh oops didnt think of that,:(

I prefer my criminals honest so american businesses are just to far to the scummy side of evil for me to understand

Crispin's Crispian
01-23-2012, 05:09 PM
You do realize that you can't force that? Especially not on a planet with 7 BILLION people, everyone of which is dependent upon fossil fuels? The "green energy industry" is in its infancy and cannot support that many people. Not now, and not in 30 years. We're better off trying to find cleaner, more efficient ways to do with less fossil fuels, not dumping them all together.

You mean like increasing the CAFE standards (http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/fuel-economy/obama-announces-54-6-mpg-cafe-standard-by-2025)? Of course we can't drop fossil fuels altogether.

I don't understand the concept that, if profits are cut, people have to be laid off. Just take a cut in your profits, people! If that's not the way it works, then there's something seriously wrong with the way that we do business IMO. But profit is the benchmark by which banks and others invest in a company. If your profit takes a dive, no one will want to buy your stock, and the value of your company will drop too. That means all sorts of bad things. (It's speculation, again.)

Terez
01-23-2012, 05:32 PM
But profit is the benchmark by which banks and others invest in a company. If your profit takes a dive, no one will want to buy your stock, and the value of your company will drop too. That means all sorts of bad things. (It's speculation, again.)Yes, but if your profit is capped, then you can't recover it by laying off workers.

Crispin's Crispian
01-23-2012, 06:42 PM
Well, I was answering a specific part of your post. I'd written out some more, but scrapped it because I didn't flesh it out enough.

At first blush, it looks like the bill caps profits at 105% on any individual sale (and taxes heavily thereunder for profits above 100%). I have no idea if 100+% profits are close to an average, but I'm guessing not or they wouldn't be considered a windfall. Moreover, the bill is intended to prevent the oil companies from somehow manipulating the petroleum market to create more spikes.

In other words, this isn't a cap on ongoing or annual profits. To me, that means the companies will make up those lost profits by attempting to increase the profitability of other sales that don't hit the 100% mark. They do that in part by laying people off.

But I could be wrong. In many cases if you have to lay people off, it means your overhead was probably too high already, or you were too dependent on a boom economy.

Davian93
01-23-2012, 06:43 PM
Instead of taxing them...maybe just stop subsidizing them? I mean, if they're pulling down those types of ridiculous profits, they dont need tax dollars.

Terez
01-24-2012, 12:28 AM
Well, I was answering a specific part of your post. I'd written out some more, but scrapped it because I didn't flesh it out enough.

At first blush, it looks like the bill caps profits at 105% on any individual sale (and taxes heavily thereunder for profits above 100%). I have no idea if 100+% profits are close to an average, but I'm guessing not or they wouldn't be considered a windfall. Moreover, the bill is intended to prevent the oil companies from somehow manipulating the petroleum market to create more spikes.

In other words, this isn't a cap on ongoing or annual profits. To me, that means the companies will make up those lost profits by attempting to increase the profitability of other sales that don't hit the 100% mark. They do that in part by laying people off.

But I could be wrong. In many cases if you have to lay people off, it means your overhead was probably too high already, or you were too dependent on a boom economy.
That's one of the things that sucks about money. Seems it creates a lot of unnecessary jobs. :) That is, it would seem that way if a lot of people weren't working unpaid overtime, or what amounts to unpaid overtime in underpaid jobs.

There are a lot of ways to increase profitability. In my experience, there's usually a great deal of corruption that gets overlooked because there's an illusion of profit, which means more bonuses for all the people who are supposed to be keeping corruption in check and less for the shareholders who, in the case of public companies, often have no idea what's going on. I worked for a private company, but the non-corrupt employees/shareholders just didn't quite know what to do about it. They had no power.

If you want to avoid paying the 'too much profit' cap tax, the best way to avoid it is to invest in your employees. It's good for business. I don't know if 'profits' in this case are measured before or after direct reinvestiment in the company, such as improving equipment, making your rigs environmentally sound, etc., places where corners often get cut in the business. These are all good long-term investments from the perspective of long-term shareholders. Not so much for short-term speculators. And if you're making 100% of a 'reasonable profit', then you're still making pretty good money.

Davian93
01-24-2012, 08:22 AM
It all depends on what is considered "reasonable" I suppose.

Perhaps they could come up with a five year plan to transform the oil industry.

Sinistrum
01-24-2012, 01:24 PM
Perhaps they could come up with a five year plan to transform the oil industry.

Sure. I mean those worked brilliantly elsewhere.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five-Year_Plans_for_the_National_Economy_of_the_Soviet_ Union#First_Plan.2C_1928.E2.80.931933

Davian93
01-24-2012, 01:25 PM
Sure. I mean those worked brilliantly elsewhere.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five-Year_Plans_for_the_National_Economy_of_the_Soviet_ Union#First_Plan.2C_1928.E2.80.931933

Ooh, I love it when people get my references...Have Rep.

Durvasha
01-24-2012, 01:36 PM
Lol, my country regularly sets five years plans. I think we are into something like Tenth five year plan now. I don't bother to remember which one it is now, as they almost make no difference. But there is some agency called "Planning Commission" full of political appointees who draw huge salaries for making air castles. The Vice-chair even gets the same privileges as a cabinet minister. :confused:

edit: So I actually thought Dav was being serious. :D

Terez
01-24-2012, 03:46 PM
Yeah, we are not allowed to do anything that has been done by the USSR, because it's socialism and therefore doomed to fail. :rolleyes:

Sinistrum
01-24-2012, 08:57 PM
Nobody said anything about it failing. There was that pesky detail about the things necessary to do it killing millions of people. But like I said thats just a detail. And we can't let details stand in the way of forming our own grand socialist utopia!

Davian93
01-24-2012, 09:14 PM
Nobody said anything about it failing. There was that pesky detail about the things necessary to do it killing millions of people. But like I said thats just a detail. And we can't let details stand in the way of forming our own grand socialist utopia!

What the oil industry needs is a transformation...a great leap forward into the future. Only then will they be truly profitable.

Terez
01-24-2012, 11:18 PM
Nobody said anything about it failing. There was that pesky detail about the things necessary to do it killing millions of people.Well, that all depends on how you go about it, doesn't it? Though I understand that certain distinctions are difficult to grasp.

GonzoTheGreat
01-25-2012, 04:47 AM
Nobody said anything about it failing. There was that pesky detail about the things necessary to do it killing millions of people. But like I said thats just a detail. And we can't let details stand in the way of forming our own grand socialist utopia!
Or a grand capitalist utopia, for which it was also necessary to kill millions of pesky indigenous people, or send them to specially designated and fenced off gulags. Kidnapping millions of inferior beings or buying them from other kidnappers and forcing them to work on the plantations so that their owners could get rich also helped.

Terez
01-25-2012, 06:35 AM
Or a grand capitalist utopia, for which it was also necessary to kill millions of pesky indigenous people, or send them to specially designated and fenced off gulags. Kidnapping millions of inferior beings or buying them from other kidnappers and forcing them to work on the plantations so that their owners could get rich also helped.Short of that, a powerless and plentiful underclass is always helpful. Especially if you can get them to watch Fox News, in which case they will gleefully give you the rope to hang them with.

Crispin's Crispian
01-25-2012, 11:26 AM
Interesting timing.

Fox and RCN team up on Spanish-language broadcast network (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2012/01/fox-and-rcn-team-up-on-spanish-broadcast-network.html)

GonzoTheGreat
01-25-2012, 12:21 PM
From CC's link (which says that they plan to start such a network, not that they're ganging up on it as I'd thought):
There is an increasing demand for quality Spanish-language content in the U.S. from both viewers and advertisers.
If Fox can increase the quality, that is an indication of some kind of problem, I would say.