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  • Where To Start

    I'm home too much watching the News channel and listening to how bad our economy and everything else that's wrong with how our country is running. I know this wouldn't fix everything but maybe if the Federal government opened up the oil reserves and got the price of fuel down again it would be a start. If gasoline and diesel was around $2.00 again Truckers, folks who need their vehicles for work and commuters would have a little more money to spend of consumer goods again. Folks might be willing to drive during vacations and this would help all the vacations spots around the USA, the towns, the attractions and the workers. Right now for President Bush to say we are addicted to foreign oil and not offer us any alternatives forces us to pay the rising prices and forces the economy to continue on it's downward spiral. I would rather have the price of all oil related items drop back to where they were a couple of years ago than get that Stimulus money which won't help enough anyway. I admit my idea may be a bad one, but there are plenty of smart people in our government who are sitting back and doing nothing. What exactly are the people who could help waiting for? They can't really think a refund will make things alright!

  • #2
    Re: Where To Start

    Frankiarmz,
    You've made some valid points. That cannot be denied. I too have to wonder just what the heck is really going on here. I don't know if you're old enough to remember the 1972 oil crisis under Pres. Richard Nixon, but I do. We had conservation efforts up the old wazzoo going in those days. Speed limits dropped to 55 max. Bumper stickers even said "Be Nifty, Drive 50," and people did. People cut back on driving. Homeowners were asked to turn off lights. Some cities even turned out every second street light to save energy. Homes were tightened up with new windows, insulation, weatherstrip to save energy. And on and on and on it went.

    So when was the last time you heard this Administration sound an alarm and urge people to conserve? Do I hear the quiet chirp of crickets going in the background?

    If there were really the oil/energy crisis that we are being told, we would also be given some directives on what to do to conserve oil.

    Also, where the heck is our federal Attorney General's office. Now I don't remember this, but Standard Oil was busted up in 1934 with federal antitrust legislation. Standard Oil ALONE was broken into 34 different oil companies. Others already existed. Do you know how many top oil executives showed up in front of Congress on April 1, 2008 (By the Way, what a Hell of an April Fool's Joke on the citizens of this country.) Just 5 executives. That's it!!!!!! Just FIVE oil executives. So do you think maybe there is a lack of followup on antitrust laws in this country to allow the numbers of oil companies that used to exist digress to just five?????? I wonder who the hell got paid off to let that happen. Oh, and remember Judge Green? He broke up AT&T and all the Baby Bells in the early 70s when it looked like they might or were becoming a monopoly -- but the public wasn't going to suffer if that monopoly wasn't dealt with.

    We've got two big oil men in the White House right now. After the first Gulf War ended, Halliburton, which at the time was run by one of them, bought up every oil well fire-fighting outfit in the world. I wonder why that consolidation went unnoticed. Have any idea what that could mean to future oil well security world wide? Just think about it for a minute.

    It is all about contracts (money). This whole contrived oil crunch is all about how many liaisons, and contracts, and monopolies can be formed and how strong they are. And watch what is going to happen down the road. We ain't seen nothin' yet.
    Just my 2 cents worth.
    Jim Don

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    • #3
      Re: Where To Start

      JimDon, I was 19 yrs old and driv'in back in 72' I remember the long gas lines with odd and even days very well. I keep thinking why our legislators sat back for the last thrity years and did nothing to prepare us for this day, but the only answer is that it was not of interest to them. I worked at New York Telephone for thirty years and the Bell monoploy was good for the general public in my view. I was a Lineman but every so often they would force me into repair work and I got sick seeing folks get billed because their phone was the cause of their problems and we did not cover the phone! Customers including the elderly are required to figure out what the problem is before calling their phone company, back before the break up we did it all. I won't repeat my thoughts on what's happening in our country now, but I sure wish we were moving towards a solution instead of waiting for things to get worse.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Where To Start

        Frankiarmz,
        I can tell you that my phone bills were a lot CHEAPER when Old Mother Bell was a monopoly. Once Green got his hooks in, the phone bills took off. And yes, I feel for those older folks too who got taken, in effect, because of the breakup. Were you a CWA person back in the day?
        Jim Don

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Where To Start

          Originally posted by JimDon View Post
          Frankiarmz,
          I can tell you that my phone bills were a lot CHEAPER when Old Mother Bell was a monopoly. Once Green got his hooks in, the phone bills took off. And yes, I feel for those older folks too who got taken, in effect, because of the breakup. Were you a CWA person back in the day?
          Jim Don
          Local 1101. Greatest group of men and women I have ever known. We stuck together and lost plenty of money but we won safer working conditions and benefits. I hate to think of all that workers lose nowadays, givebacks, cutbacks, layoffs, outsourcing, all bad words. People forget what working conditions were like before Unions and all the good Unions have done. We are living in selfish, short sighted times with ignorant folks who don't understand that the more we lose as workers the less we can do as consumers. All the folks who took over the jobs outsourced to the third world will not buy the cars, trucks and consumer goods once we go broke.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Where To Start

            Frankiarmz,
            Local 4621 Appleton, Wis. Ditto on what a great group to be with and work with. I was an Executive Board member all the while I was in the union. I was also a Union steward in our office and ended up being the chief grievance filer when the company wanted to give us a hard time. My father was actually THE MAN who got CWA started with Wis. Bell back in 1939!!!!! Was one of the original union organizers. I was also a union organizer when we got CWA to represent us. Take Care.
            Jim Don

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Where To Start

              I wish I knew the anwer. The worst thing going right now is the media. They love to dwell on disaster and doom. I do not look for anything to get better until the next president is in office. Sometimes people just like to see others fail, no matter the cost.
              Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

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              • #8
                Re: Where To Start

                Originally posted by Tyman View Post
                I wish I knew the anwer. The worst thing going right now is the media. They love to dwell on disaster and doom. I do not look for anything to get better until the next president is in office. Sometimes people just like to see others fail, no matter the cost.
                Tyman, I don't think you and I are supposed to know the answers to the tough economic problems. I'll bet you have most of the answers when it comes to your profession and family and if you don't you have people you trust to ask. I think there are very smart people in our government who must know how to turn things around, experts who could step in and make a differrence. I just don't know what thy're waitng for? Do they want to see more middle class folks lose their jobs, homes, families? I'm very concerned about what happens this Summer going into Fall when gasoline and heating oil will most likely be around $4.00 a gallon. I know I must sound like doom and gloom a lot and that's cause I'm watching the News and paying at the pump, food store and other places more than ever. We can't get sick over these things and it would be foolish to ignore them and expect things to just get better. That's why I asked, "Where To Start"?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Where To Start

                  Just a quick comment on the price of fuel....It has nothing to do with supply or demand.Oil consumption actually went down in the last quarter in the US.

                  The reason Oil is so high,is because the price is set in US dollars on the world market.

                  And if you havn't noticed lately,US dollars ain't worth what they used to be...Take Canada for example,last year our dollar was worth $1.50 Canadian.A barrel of oil that cost $60 dollars last year to us,cost a Canadian $90.Well thanks to the huge deficit,the current administration ran up(I won't get started on this...)The US dollar is now trading even with the Canadian dollar...so now the Oil cost $90 US or Canadian.Went up 50% for us,Canadians are paying the same...thats the problem.It's not oil reserves or drilling in Alaska.....It's the US government....,borrowing and borrowing printing more and more money to pay off debt...thats what is driving our fuel costs up.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Where To Start

                    i just think it is sick that these oil companys can make $350 Billon (thats with a "B") profits than then ask for tax breaks, but will not lowwer there price. i also would like to know why diesle witch is no where near as refined as gasoline now costs more per gallon then high test, i just don't get it. why is our goverment more concrened with witch baseball players use steroides vs. why this contry is in a nose dive with little hope of pulling out.
                    9/11/01, never forget.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Where To Start

                      As much as I would love cheaper fuel, I am not one to want the government to step in and govern how much profit the oil companies can earn. Truth of the matter is the oil companies do NOT price the oil they sell. Its a commodity and is priced by a white collar futures trader in the UK and in NY city. The oil companies sell it for what the world market believes its worth. As easy as it is to blame the oil companies for thier profits.. come on, they make a wopping 12% if that profit, that is on par with any other corporation. My big concern is where does the profit margin restrictions stop if the government does step in? Next thing you know as a plumber or framer, you will only be allowed to charge 20 dollars an hour max.... Guys we're stepping awful close to socialism/communism with this type of thinking, and that truely frieghtens me.


                      Also, I am totally FINE with the lowering of the taxes on the oil industry, they do get taxed like no other. I havent dont the math lately, but over 50% of the price you pay at the pump for fuel is Road Tax, State tax, Federal Tax, EPA taxes... it goes on and on. If you think big oil is the one making a killing at the pump, think again, is our good ol' friends in washington that are making a killing, and then wasting that money away on "junk".

                      Also, the lack of the infastructure to adequitly refine fuel in this country is a huge problem. The US actually IMPORTS gasoline... refined gasoline, not crude, from the UK. How messed up is that?

                      Guys, our problem is the entitlement mentality that has infected this country. Everyone thinks they are entitled to what ever they want, and that it should be given to them. Now, I am going to step on toes with the following statements, so, if you are thin skinned, stop reading. I do know that there is alot of plumbers here, and I bet most are union. I have no problems with unions of the old days, when workers safety, and pay were main concerns... but now, they have gone over board if you ask me. Please, again, I dont mean to offend ya'll, but what I see from looking in from the out side, this is what I see. Companies are shipping manufactuing and anything they can overseas for one big reason, cost of employment here is just to dang high. Most employees now seem to think that they are ENTITLED to not only fair pay and a safe working enviroment anymore, but think that huge pension plans, heathcare, vacation.... it goes on and on. These costs pile up and up, and when CEOs are faced with what is the most cost effective way to do business... guess what, these legacy costs weigh in heavily... very heavily! Truth be told, after a company pays you your salary, workers comp insurance, heath insurance, vacation, sick pay, pension, and any other benift costs, your salary is not what is on your W2 in february, but about double that, even though you dont see it. Many people do not realize this. Again, its part of the entitlement mentality that people think everything should be "free" to them.

                      Now, you compile the above issue, with the "Wal-Mart" mentality, that everything should be cheap cheap cheap, you tell me how any company with an ounce of any brain cells can keep production here and make any money? You would be a fool if you think there is anyway to mesh these two together.

                      Now, who is to blame? Sure, alot like to blame the white house, easy target. But the fact is, its you and I. Plain and simple. We continue to demand cheap products, and most refuse to pay the premium for the higher quality item. Unfortunately this menatilty has even infected the service industry, and if someone can get a "ok" home improvement done for less than a high quality craftsman, people will go the cheap route. We have become a society of want and greed. The national Debt is not that the fault of the President... please, its you and I. the national debt is where its at because people went nutz putting everything on credit! The President doesnt control you and I's spending habits... (at least not yet... ), we got greedy, and spent more than we make, how can we blame the president?

                      Finally, the answer? Who knows, I sure dont. I wish I did, but then again if I did, I wouldnt be just a self employed carpenter now would I?
                      Last edited by Alphacowboy; 04-06-2008, 06:13 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Where To Start

                        Alphacowboy,

                        I've think you've definitely hit the nail on the head as far as gas prices. I would like to see some new refineries, and also exploration off our shores. That would be a good way of trying to reduce the price. Releasing something from the SPR is a short term non-solution. Limiting profits just means people won't invest in oil exploration. Also, if you look at the shareholders of "BIG" oil, a lot of it is in things like pension funds and mutual funds.

                        Regarding unions, I don't have so much of a problem with private sector unions. If GM thinks the union is getting too expensive they can always force the issue and have the resultant strike. If they don't force the issue and go bankrupt, it is their own fault. The public sector unions (teachers, police, etc.) on the other hand do bother me. The school taxes here go up and up, because the school board never has the guts to say no to a union demand. Also, all of the police/corrections contracts etc. all have these arbitration clauses and if one of them renegotiates, the others all get to; basically leapfrogging up more and more costs. The problem is no politician has the courage to actually say no; and they aren't the ones who pay for it; you and I are.

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