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papermanbill
Papermanbill  (Level: 41.3 - Posts: 1313)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 9:42 AM

MY SOLUTION TO THE ENERGY CRISIS

Like everyone else in the Western Hemisphere, I am feeling the $3.79 per gallon gas debacle. Being the proud owners of 2005 and 2007 Chevrolet Silverados, my wife and I have grounded ourselves from driving for the weekends. The only driving we do is a 1.5 mile (each way) trip to our local Starbucks and we pay $6.80 for two cups of coffee. "DOH"

donden
Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 10:12 AM


What the hell, we make a 30 mile round trip to Lyons Ohio just to get my wife's stupid cigarettes about every 10 days. We always take our Saturn (35 mpg) instead of our gas hog Jeep Liberty but it's still dumb. Oh, I should mention a daily trip to Tim Hortons (2 mile round trip) for coffee,,,,2 for $2.95. Now THAT'S worth it.

phitzy1
Phitzy1  (Level: 66.4 - Posts: 873)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 11:15 AM

I have to admit, I have started to ride my bicycle just about everywhere...good for me, easy on the gas tank...not so good for going out to dinner or for job interviews...bit messy...but otherwise!



bigbird
Bigbird  (Level: 239.4 - Posts: 3300)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 11:33 AM

Coffee grinders are pretty inexpensive, and pay off in about a week. And you don't have to make all those unnecessary trips.

I will admit to walking more lately. And being more mindful of grouping errands. I never leave the house for just one thing anymore, unless I am walking.

My last fill-up of regular gas was $3.85/gallon. I'm not liking this.

zeedee
Zeedee  (Level: 224.7 - Posts: 1088)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 1:25 PM

I got an email about a plan to ask people to completely stop buying gas from Exxon/Mobil (the largest of the oil companies). The idea is that they would eventually HAVE to drop prices to bring customers back, and to keep competitive, other companies would have to follow suit. Remember the old gas-price wars? If enough people would stop buying their gas from that one company, it could possibly work. It is not the same as that "don't buy gas on a particular day" plan--because all the stations know that you will have to buy some gas sooner or later. This plan would allow you to still buy whatever gas you need--just not from Exxon/Mobil.

zeedee
Zeedee  (Level: 224.7 - Posts: 1088)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 1:27 PM

In a supply/demand economy, the buyer has the power to control prices as long as there is plenty of supply--and so far, there is still plenty of gas on the market. We know that by the fact that Exxon continues to report record profits.

berylm
Berylm  (Level: 156.3 - Posts: 478)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 1:34 PM

Well, excuse me for a distinct lack of sympathy here, but speak for yourselves!

Petrol in the UK is currently the equivalent of ~$9.81 per gallon and it's a long time since it's been significantly lower!!



revdodd
Revdodd  (Level: 68.7 - Posts: 775)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 1:45 PM

Also, remember: This isn't a price spike due to deman.

This run has been fueled, for lack of a better word, by futures traders. There's plenty of oil, and more refining capability than before. However the contract have been bid higher, on the spot market, so oil companies, the poor things, have to pay more for the actual product.

Now it wouldn't be fair for them to foot that increase...so guess who does?



mplaw51
Mplaw51  (Level: 179.5 - Posts: 1582)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 1:59 PM

I know the price of gas has me in shock, but my husband reminded me yesterday (and I see someone has nudged us all) that in Europe they've been paying WAY more than we have for many years. The answer is some other fuel than gas, better hybrids, I really don't know. I just know we're in trouble and plenty of folks still don't even recycle. Go figure.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 2:57 PM

I'm screwed about the price of gas and no option. I teach at 4 schools, and carry large instruments and tools to make simple repairs to them. I just can't do that except in my XTerra - that gets horrible gas mileage because it's a 4-wheel drive - again, have to have it driving to 4 schools in snow and ice.

taco24
Taco24  (Level: 131.0 - Posts: 589)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 4:19 PM

Oh, Jank, I pity you. The day might be coming where you may have to go into the office to explain your predicament. Is that even a possiblity? Hope you have understanding principals? I am lucky as I do have some nifty bosses.

Susan


kaufman
Kaufman  (Level: 256.8 - Posts: 3936)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 7:35 PM

The problem with that argument, Rev, is that for the past year or so, the oil companies have been claiming record profits. Their revenues have been fast outpacing their costs. Face it, they're using the opportunity to gouge all they can out of us, and until something is done to keep them from doing it with impunity, they're going to keep on doing it.

smaug
Smaug  (Level: 141.2 - Posts: 2772)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 7:44 PM


re: oil companies profits...so what? That's capitalism. That is what differentiates the US economy from the rest of the world -- a free market.

When the consumer finally demands it, other energy alternatives will be developed. Does this suck and should the US change our attitudes? Yes, but that is a different question.

Oil companies employ millions of Americans and their stock enriches millions more through 401ks and other investments. And as has been stated here, our gas prices are remarkably low compared to much of the world.

Can't blame CEOs for doing their job and maximizing their profit, that is their job. They'd be rightfully put in jail if they tried to do anything else.

In the words of PJ O'Rourke: "this ain't no freaking hippie commune.. "


jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 8:00 PM

I don't ever see a news article comparing their record profits with their record expenses. I don't think any news article about them should be believed or have any credibility whatsoever until the news actually reports the facts of both columns of the ledger.

smaug
Smaug  (Level: 141.2 - Posts: 2772)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 8:21 PM

By the way, Exxon is the largest corporation in the world by revenues. So their numbers seem big until you consider their heft. The Banking and Pharmaceutical industries run at about twice the profit rate in revenues as compared to Exxon.



berylm
Berylm  (Level: 156.3 - Posts: 478)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 8:44 PM

Thing is, Jank, it doesn't *matter* what their expenses are, record or otherwise - because the profits figure is how much the oil companies have left *after* they've paid those expenses! The profits figure is revenue (what they charge us) minus expenses.

So if they're claiming record profits and having to pay out record expenses they must be charging us DOUBLE the record figure for the gas!

smaug
Smaug  (Level: 141.2 - Posts: 2772)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 9:53 PM

Let's try again.

ExxonMobil is the largest corporation in the world. If they simply grow at the rate of inflation, every quarter is the largest profit in the history of the world and of ExxonMobil.

Plus ExxonMobil has the joy of operating in the most godawful unstable business you could imagine, and they have to fund billions in their own research and exploration costs.

WalMart, who is in their weight class, makes billions in profits every quarter, and they don't have the risk/benefit challenges EM has.

Nobody whines about WalMart's profits...and have you seen the Forbes 400 lately?:

The Top Ten

1. Bill Gates
2. Warren Buffett
3. Paul Allen
4. Alice Walton
5. Helen Walton
6. Jim Walton
7. John Walton
8. Rob Walton
9. Michael Dell
10. Larry Ellison

Not bad, 6 of the 8 wealthiest people in the US shopped at Walmart. I don't see anyone named "Esso" on that list.

PS: up above somebody posted the timeworn internet saw about boycotting this gas company or that. Gasoline is a fungible commodity. It doesn't come out of Exxon wells and go to Exxon ships and go to Exxon refineries and go to Exxon gas stations.

If Exxon is idle and Amoco has long lines, Amoco just buys their gasoline from Exxon. At an emergency demand markup, resulting in exactly the opposite of the intended results.

Snopes it.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 10:02 PM

I don't think it's feasible to compare gasoline to any other purchase. I can live without going to Walmart. I can live without almost everything but the barest neccessities. But I have to have gasoline to go to work and buy even those barest neccessities.

And I'll grant you the "revenue" vs. "profits," so let's see that third ledger column - how much of that profit goes into the pockets of their employees for their neccessities, how much goes into the pockets of the company officers/owners, and how much is rolled back into the company's expenditures for R&D and new exploration/drilling and more advanced equipment, et al, plus repair from weather every year. Then we'll have more truthful facts.

kaufman
Kaufman  (Level: 256.8 - Posts: 3936)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 10:59 PM

Smaug, you may have whatever opinion of Wal-Mart you want, but saying that NOBODY whines about Wal-Mart's profits is ludicrous. To many of us, if they cut their profit margin a bit, and instead put some more revenue into their employees' pockets and/or their health insurance so they wouldn't have to live off the dole, or perhaps if they didn't undercut other retailers so much and effectively gut towns coast to coast, they would be much better citizens.

bushyfox
Bushyfox  (Level: 174.4 - Posts: 2403)
Sun, 27th Apr '08 11:56 PM

Our fuel prices took a quantum leap upwards last week so that we DownUnderians are now pay the appx. equivalent of over $US6.00 per gallon.
...Makes yours look cheap, huh??

Those in the UK and Europe are paying far higher'n all of us!


~Bev

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 12:00 AM

And...those who believe the oil companies are price gouging, you may be totally right. I just know I'm tired of being manipulated by the media (on all sides) trying to make us blindly emotional on their opinions, rather than knowing the facts and deciding how to act on those facts - act with my vote, act with my voice. I'm sick of blindly believing half a truth.

fudypatootie
Fudypatootie  (Level: 197.2 - Posts: 1302)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 12:07 AM

Some of us DO have to shop at Wal-Mart. With a disabled husband and myself out of work, I have to buy as cheaply as I can for everyday items - and that means Wal-Mart.


rowlanda
Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2856)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 3:52 AM

Having recently lived in a smaller community and
observed the arrival of Walmart and Home Depot,
I can tell you there was a lot of screaming from
the local retailers BUT prices went down, the
level of service improved, there were very many
more jobs and people who had previously been forced
to buy used goods from the Thrift store (cast offs from
the people who lived on the Hill) could now buy retail!!!!
The rich retailers still had their "speciality" stores
with the name brands....who was the loser????

In the absence of a more effective plan, there's nothing
wrong with boycotting Exxon and Shell....It disrupts the
status quo and tells them the general population is not
happy with the Price fixing. Even if Smaug is right
about Amoco, we can't be any worse off....they plan to
keep raising prices anyway.
We have the examples of Jesus, Gandhi, Dr.King, Nelson
Mandela, Anita Hill, Rosa Parks and the people who started
the Greenpeace movement. Now women are fully recognised,
and businesses are "going green" and proud of it. The States
even has a black presidential candidate!!!! And Christianity
is practised worldwide. The power of ONE rightminded person
is enormous.

papermanbill
Papermanbill  (Level: 41.3 - Posts: 1313)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 5:55 AM

Anyone here old enough to remember back in the fifties when you got a toy gift that somebody bought from Sears ?? What was written in big letters all over the box ??? " MADE IN JAPAN"...

papermanbill
Papermanbill  (Level: 41.3 - Posts: 1313)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 6:10 AM

Speaking of the fifties and sixties, here's a flashback for you. How many times did we hear on TV and radio that a local student or even garage mechanic developed a carbeurater that could get 50-60 MPG back then. Then you wouldn't hear anymore. Maybe a year later, you'd hear the same thing, then you wouldn't hear anymore. It was rumored that GM, Ford and Chrysler people would buy these guys and their patents out to keep oil consumption up. Up until the early 70's gas was
30¢ - 35¢ per gallon. "NOT" to blame women for anything, but in the early 70's, women car owners was probably less than
1/3 of what it is now. There are just too many cars out there.

oldcougar
Oldcougar  (Level: 219.7 - Posts: 1935)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 7:13 AM

In BC they just slapped a 4 cent a litre (about 12 on a US gal) green tax in an effort to get us off the roads. Sounds good but will increase the cost of everything we buy. Inflation It also punishes the rural communities far more than city dwellers, who can take a bus, the tube or even ride a bike. Around my neck of the woods people do try to car pool but it often means a drive of over 7 kms just to get to the pick-up point. Smart cars (those miniature jobbies) are great for city driving but do you want to be doing 100 kms an hour in one along side the big rigs We try to keep our driving to a minimum & make every trip pay, but it's well past the time for car manufacturers to find real solutions. On the home front we keep looking for more ways to go green because every little bit helps. I would love to install solar panels for electricity & as soon as hubby gets another job & we get back on our feet, we will Free from the grid, free at last

salzypat
Salzypat  (Level: 156.3 - Posts: 5315)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 7:17 AM

Part of the problem in our area is you have to drive so far to do anything and public transportation isn't available. It's nothing for some of the rural people to put 100-200 miles a day on their vehicle just checking irrigation wells for crops and windmills for water for cattle. Then if they need parts to repair a piece of machinery, they may have to drive 120 miles one way to get the part. Sometimes you can't wait for UPS.

Using your personal vehicle wisely solves only part of the problem. Diesel fuel has typically been much cheaper than regular. Now it is already more than $4 a gallon. This country moves on the backs of trucks. My son built a truck wash several years ago. In his business plan he figured diesel at $1.65 or so a gallon, which was a high figure at the time. The trucking industry -- referring mainly to the independent owner/operator -- operates on a pretty thin margin of profit. Where do you think the money will come from to keep them operating in the black? Obviously the prices will come out of the consumers' pocket -- grocery goods, even Wal-Mart goods, will go up to cover the increase of diesel. It's a vicious circle.

oldcougar
Oldcougar  (Level: 219.7 - Posts: 1935)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 10:27 AM

I forgot to mention hanging your laundry outside to dry. I know it takes extra work but it saves energy & fair amount of money. Plus your sheets & towels smell heavenly You can run your jeans, t-shirts, etc. through the drier for 10 minutes to knock out most wrinkles. Like you working people out there don't have enough to do

smaug
Smaug  (Level: 141.2 - Posts: 2772)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 11:00 AM

Rowlanda you totally whiffed on my economic scenario. Rising prices float all boats.

Plus your boycott would benefit other non-American gas retail, such as Citgo, owned by our Venezuelan friend Hugo chavez.

Any gas boycott is a numbskull idea. You want to get the oil companies, buy a hybrid. Or a bike. Or move closer to work. Or work at home.



phitzy1
Phitzy1  (Level: 66.4 - Posts: 873)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 2:01 PM


I whine about Wal Mart's profits...

I have been in a Wal-Mart boycott since 1997...



wordster
Wordster  (Level: 159.4 - Posts: 910)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 6:30 PM

The local rate here in my part of the UK is £1.08 9/10 ($2.18 per litre!)
I make that $8.76 per US gallon! A $1.60 rise in a year!! That's for lead-free.
$9.24 for diesel! 75% is tax!

wordster
Wordster  (Level: 159.4 - Posts: 910)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 6:37 PM

Oh yes I forgot. 2 cups of coffee at my nearest Starbucks costs around $8.

smaug
Smaug  (Level: 141.2 - Posts: 2772)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 10:25 PM


And hookers are like $125 for around the world !!!

And don't even get me started on the price of amoxycillin....

rowlanda
Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2856)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 11:13 PM

Smaug....
what's "around the world"????


(Rowlanda whiffing on Smaug again!!!!)

bigbird
Bigbird  (Level: 239.4 - Posts: 3300)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 11:18 PM

I am zealous in my boycott of Wal-Mart. Have never bought a thing there, and hope never to. Their well documented treatment of employees and communities is deplorable.

mplaw51
Mplaw51  (Level: 179.5 - Posts: 1582)
Mon, 28th Apr '08 11:28 PM

I'm with you Bigbird. I won't shop at Walmart for those reasons myself.

papermanbill
Papermanbill  (Level: 41.3 - Posts: 1313)
Tue, 29th Apr '08 6:12 AM

Does the word "UNION" mean anything to anyone ???

oldcougar
Oldcougar  (Level: 219.7 - Posts: 1935)
Tue, 29th Apr '08 6:17 AM

Yes Liam, it's what they're in the process of breaking in the forest industry in BC right now Buy union

mplaw51
Mplaw51  (Level: 179.5 - Posts: 1582)
Tue, 29th Apr '08 6:33 AM

Of course Walmart is the union issue but they go beyond that for me.

As far as unions go, in my area, I see the "big rat" and picketers around new commercials buildings all the time. Usually means they're not using union labor, they bid union rates and pay the prevailing wage, but don't use the union labor itself, I don't get it. I thought there was no choice in the bid about prevailing wage but it seems all bets are off when the building starts. Maybe someone could explain to me what's up with all that. Maybe I'm wrong and they're not paying the prevailing wage, is this legal if you bid something else? You have to bid union rates don't you? I know someone knows this...


foogs
Foogs  (Level: 267.4 - Posts: 848)
Tue, 29th Apr '08 9:15 AM


Sorry, but I feel the need to be aggravating:

I just bought a large Starbucks coffee of the day (and picked up a
day-old cherry turnover for free), then walked about 50 feet back
to my office. Trying to keep trhe crumbs off my keyboard...

smaug
Smaug  (Level: 141.2 - Posts: 2772)
Tue, 29th Apr '08 10:42 AM


Unions suck.

They are the downfall of America's competitiveness in the world economy, which will soon be the whole economy.

A free market has to be a meritocracy. Winning an enormous pension package at the negotiating table doesn't mean much when the whole company goes under two years later for a failure to provide competitive pricing on their products and/or services.

foogs
Foogs  (Level: 267.4 - Posts: 848)
Tue, 29th Apr '08 11:12 AM

You're channeling your inner dragon, Smaug. I don't have my copy of
The Hobbit nearby, but I remember the dragon sitting atop his pile
of stolen (or at least ill-gotten) wealth. He sits on it so long that the
gold and silver grow into his skin and create a seemingly impregnable
armor that he believes protects him from attack. He becomes smug
and arrogant in his power, which ultimately leads to an arrow fired by
a lowly soldier skewering his vitals.

There has to be an analogy to Wal-Mart and other anti-union sentiment
in their somewhere.

knerd
Knerd  (Level: 99.0 - Posts: 1141)
Tue, 29th Apr '08 11:21 AM

Smaug - I think you are coming in way too low with that $125.00 figure. Surely that's not full service.

smaug
Smaug  (Level: 141.2 - Posts: 2772)
Tue, 29th Apr '08 12:01 PM

Knerd -- tunnel bunnies only.

Foogs -- like most people defending your chosen debate position, you confuse fantasy and reality.

rowlanda
Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2856)
Tue, 29th Apr '08 11:43 PM

And some people call names
and attack the opposition
because their own opinion
is indefensible....

barnierubble
Barnierubble  (Level: 93.9 - Posts: 637)
Wed, 30th Apr '08 2:37 AM

Smaug is obviously one of the Bosses. If there were no unions, 90% of us would still be living in poverty, because the "Smaugs" of this world would be fat and rich. Give us a break from your trash, Smaug

papermanbill
Papermanbill  (Level: 41.3 - Posts: 1313)
Wed, 30th Apr '08 5:11 AM

30 years as a Teamster and never bitched about the pay. Medical benefits and protecting the worker from unsafe working conditions. Anyone notice the crane accidents lately ?? This is what you need a good union steward or rep with you for all the time. How about these chemical factories and the crap they breathe. Has anyone ever thought how many people would get mangled everyday just to make you a new Chevy if it weren't for unions. Smaug, on the money point your a little right, but the rest, you need more backing.

papermanbill
Papermanbill  (Level: 41.3 - Posts: 1313)
Wed, 30th Apr '08 5:17 AM

Oh Smaug, In the 60's the hookers in Italy had to belong to a union. They even wore badges. This is true. They also had to wear white socks.

jank0614
Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4597)
Wed, 30th Apr '08 7:22 AM

Stop it! Now you're just encouraging him! Women wearing nothing but a badge and white socks? Turns a wizard's head.

scifidwarf
Scifidwarf  (Level: 140.2 - Posts: 249)
Wed, 30th Apr '08 8:17 AM

I shop at Wal-Mart because it's cheap. People gripe about it but when you can't anything else it is a good place to shop. I worked there for a year and yeah, it has it's problems but what's the big deal if it saves a person money. When you live on a fixed income and have a handicapped child or a disabled husband, it's the palce to shop. Plus with the Supercenter, you can everything at one place and don't have to drive everywhere wasting gas when it's $3.47 a gallon.

smaug
Smaug  (Level: 141.2 - Posts: 2772)
Wed, 30th Apr '08 10:47 AM

Paperman --you don't need unions to enforce safety issues. That should be OSHA and insurance companies and the basic economics of fearing the cost of injuries.

Uniions had their place until the global economy took over a decade or so ago. Now the people who used to drive those nice, safely built Chevies are buying better, cheaper Toyotas.

And the people who used to make those Chevys are laid off and bitching about manufacturing jobs going overseas.





heidi
Heidi  (Level: 36.2 - Posts: 694)
Wed, 30th Apr '08 11:32 AM

In WAY over my head here as never been good at economics nor the political bent. I am just grateful hat I taught in a union city like Detroit-belonged to the Detroit Federation of Teachers. We went out on strikes which by law were illegal and parents threw garbage at us while we were on the picket lines.-lost their babysitters. most likely the main reason. Because of this very union I was able to come to Fl. after I became disabled and have good health insurance for the rest of my life. I receive a pension because I was there 30 years and also collect SS. As I understand if, Florida is a "Right to Work" state which means they can hire and fire on a whim. Even with both my pension and SS have taken to renting out a couple of bedrooms in my home-rather a scary thing for an old woman but find it necessary because my home owners insurance because of hurricanes has jacked up my house payment considerably. I am fortunate to still be able to drive and my car, I believe, is the last Escort model Ford made-good on gas for the short distances I drive and incredibly low on mileage. I am certainly much more fortunate than most-most of my rather transient renters walk or ride bikes as they cannot afford cars, insurance, nor fuel. I have been lucky that the majority of the folks whohave stayed in my home have not been thieves nor sexual predators. My location is convenient with a Walmart very near but my kids have urged me not to but there as they pay women a lower wage than men for equal work. Smaug, my dadf whom I loved dearly was a staunch Republican like you-but I take no stand as cannot figure out which one if any have a compassionate answer. As I said-no real point to my post, I guess-Linda

barnierubble
Barnierubble  (Level: 93.9 - Posts: 637)
Thu, 1st May '08 2:17 AM

instead of being obscene this time, smaug is just using his right to be a horse's ass.

rowlanda
Rowlanda  (Level: 70.0 - Posts: 2856)
Thu, 1st May '08 2:25 AM

Smaug's lack of empathy and compassion
illustrates why he is usually limited
to talking about alcohol and sex!!!!


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