Sunday, February 10, 2008

Stop bitching about Exxon and corporations in general

If you're like me, you hate evil corporations. Mainly because they're rich, they have nicer cars, sleep in fluffy beds, and for breakfast they feast on the tender limbs of malnourished children from underdeveloped nations. (Usually folded into egg-white omelets.)

But the reality is - corporations are nothing more than large groups of people. Like fraternities. But they make heaploads of money and without them we'd all be dead. On his blog, Economics professor Mark J. Perry points this out brilliantly - that while we obsess over corporate profits, no one gives them credit for the massive taxes they pay to keep our country afloat.

I had a conversation (a short one) with someone I care deeply about and she mentioned how outrageous the profits of Exxon were. When I asked if she understood how and why the profits of Exxon were so big she just shrugged her shoulders and said they charged too much for gas.

Well---that’s just wrong. Exxon sells gas and they make about 8 cents a gallon in pre-tax profit on every gallon they sell. That’s after you take out the cost of finding the gas, drilling for the gas, brining the gas to the surface, refining the gas , distributing the gas to the stations and all while employing hundreds of thousands of people to do all this they end up with 8 cents pre-tax. So if they sell 100 gallons they make 8 dollars. If they sell 8 trillion gallons they make 64 billion dollars. They didn’t screw anyone, they didn’t gouge anyone, and they just sold more gas. Which begs the question , why are they the villains for being successful? As an aside the government takes 54 cents in taxes from that same gas production and sales and they put $432 billion into their pockets

Exxon paid 30 billion dollars last year in taxes - which is as much in taxes, annually, as the bottom 50% of individual taxpayers. We're talking 65,000,000 people! 65 million and one, if you count Ira Rabinowitz. And did you know that the tax rate for the bottom 50% is only 3% of adjusted gross income. For Exxon it's 41%. Meaning that, it's not the corporations who've been getting a free ride- it's the poor! And as another aside the government paid NOTHING on the $432 billion they took in

Isn't it time we stopped beating up on corporations and started loving them? For my part, I offer to attend any corporate retreat that involves scream therapy and wearing cullottes.

And if you disagree with me, then you sir are worse than Hitler.