Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Oil Prices: Corporations and ECON 101

Let's get a ground rule established: The oil companies are NOT government owned, controlled or regulated. (Maybe they should be ... and might just end up that way if world oil supplied become critical.) They are operated as a public corporation and BY LAW must act in the best interest of the stockholders - NOT the consumers! What does "best interest" mean? It means, for example, that Exxon/Mobil is required to run the business in a manner that produces the most return to the stockholders.

What would happen if Exxon/Mobil decided to be benevolent and cut retail gas prices and be a "good guy?" The first thing that would happen is the stockholders would find a group of attorneys with vicious sharp teeth and sue the "you know what" out of Exxon/Mobil. The cause of action would be that Exxon/Mobil was not acting in the best interest of the stockholders and therefore, the stockholders were losing money to which they feel entitled.

Regardless of all the investigating, posturing and pure BS by the current crop of political guru's, there is NOTHING they can do to adjust the prices charged by Exxon/Mobil ... or Nike, for that matter. Yes, the politico's can reduce taxes or change environmental regulations which might make manufacturing the product easier and cheaper, but the bottom line is still the same: They charge what they want and if you don't like it - don't buy it!

I hear that some politicians recommend suspending federal gas taxes for a period of time, possibly through the summer. Consider this: Let's assume that the current price of a certain grade of gas is $3.75/gal. If the Fed's cut the tax by $.50, then the same gallon of gas should be $3.25. Ahh, but wait a minute: So far, albeit with loud complaints, we're currently paying the asking price of $3.75 and using virtually the same amount of gas. So if the price suddenly drops to $3.25, with tax suspension, Exxon/Mobil, acting in the best interest of STOCKHOLDERS, knows full well that if they raised the price of gas, so that the consumer is still paying $3.75/gal. the stockholders profits will be even greater and the consumer will complain even more - but will continue to buy virtually the same amount of gas! Same amount of gas, higher prices, more money for stockholders - good deal! Buy Exxon/Mobil stock. (I do!)

ECON 101, clearly states that the best price for any goods or services is the highest price you can charge before the customer starts cutting back on purchases. Even then, the best price for maximum return to the company is that price where there actually is some cutback in demand. Bottom line: Until the gas consumer actually cuts back in purchases, which so far is negligible, the price keeps going UP!

Where the government can act, is in the case of an "Enron type" of market manipulation. This seems likely, but my guess is isn't. Enron was acting in a stealth mode, thinking they could could get away with it. With all the spotlights on the oil companies, it would take a "village idiot" mentality to try to manipulate the market. Ain't going to happen ... no need for it. The consumer just pumps more money right into the pockets of all the stockholders.

Do I need to say it again? The government is impotent in bringing down gas prices. Don't believe the BS the politico's are tell us.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Why Return To The Air Force Academy?

The following was sent to me in an email and I feel it is important to make available to others.


First year cadets at the Air Force Academy are allowed
to leave the Academy without penalty up through the end of
first-year Christmas break.

Those who decide to come back are assigned paper to write on why they chose to return. Here is one young cadet's masterpiece, which has begun to be widely publicized...

Why return to the Air Force Academy after Winter

Joseph R. Tomczak Cadet,
Fourth Class United States Air Force Academy

So after our sunburns have faded and the memories of our winter break have been reduced to pictures we've
pinned on our desk boards, and once again we've exchanged T-shirts and swim suits for flight suits and camouflage, there still remains the question that every cadet at U.S.Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs has asked themselves at some point: Why did we come back?

Why, after spending two weeks with our family would we return to one of the most demanding lifestyles in the
country? After listening to our 'friends' who are home from State or Ivy League schools chock full of wisdom about how our war in Iraq is unjust and unworldly, why would we return? And after watching the news and reading the papers which only seem to condemn the military's every mistake and shadow every victory, why would we continue to think it is worth the sacrifice of a normal college life?

Is it because the institution to which we belong is tuition- free?

Anyone who claims this has forgotten that we will, by the time we graduate, repay the US taxpayer many times over in blood, sweat, and tears. Is it because the schooling we are receiving is one of the best undergraduate educations in the country?

While the quality of the education is second to none, anyone who provides this as a main reason has lost sight of the awesome responsibility that awaits those who are tough enough to graduate and become commissioned officers in the U.S. Air Force.

I come back to the Academy because I want to have thet training necessary so that one day I'll have the incredible responsibility of leading the sons and daughters of America in combat. These men and women will never ask about my Academy grade point average, their only concern will be that I have the ability to lead them expertly; I will be humbled to earn their respect.

I come back to the Academy because I want to be the Commander who saves lives by negotiating with Arab leaders... in their own language.

I come back to the Academy because, if called upon, I want to be the pilot who flies half way around the world with three mid-air refuelings to send a bomb from 30,000 feet into a basement housing the enemy... through a ventilation shaft two feet wide.

Becoming an officer in today's modern Air Force is so much more than just command; it is being a diplomat, a
strategist, a communicator, a moral compass, but always a warrior first.

I come back to the Air Force Academy because, right now, the United States is fighting a global war that is an
'away game' in Iraq - taking the fight to the terrorists. Whether or not we think the terrorists were in Iraq before our invasion, they are unquestionably there now. And if there is any doubt as to whether this is a global war, just ask the people in Amman, in London, in Madrid, in Casablanca, in Riyadh, and in Bali.

This war must remain an away game because we have seen what happens when it becomes a home game... I come back to the Academy because I want to be a part of that fight.

I come back to the Academy because I don't want my vacationing family to board a bus in Paris that gets blown away by someone who thinks that it would be a good idea to convert the Western world to Islam.

I come back to the Academy because I don't want the woman I love to be the one who dials her last frantic cell phone call while huddled in the back of n airliner with a hundred other people seconds away from slamming into the Capitol building.

I come back to the Academy because during my freshman year of high school I sat in a geometry class and watched nineteen terrorists change the course of history live on television.

For the first time, every class currently at a U.S. Service Academy made the decision to join after the 2001 terror attacks.

Some have said that the U.S. invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan only created more terrorists... I say that the attacks of September 11th, 2001 created an untold more number of American soldiers; I go to school with 4,000 of them. And that's worth more than missing a few frat parties.

(U.S. Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colorado) had Cadet
Tomczak's essay read into the Congressional Record, and at a meeting of the Air Force Academy Board of Visitors he presented Cadet Tomczak with a framed copy of the essay.)

"If you want to kick the tiger in his ass, you'd better have a plan for dealing with his teeth."
/Tom Clancy

Friday, April 11, 2008


The Clinton's act like they have an "entitlement" to the White House ... and if everyone would just relax and stop "picking on Hillary," the coronation would would proceed as planned.

And, Oh Yes, she would bring about the changes we "need:"

1) A universal health care plan she botched a few year back ... and a plan there is NO WAY the nation can afford.
(The "Talk Is Cheap Plan.")

2) Start pulling the military life support out of Iraq and put not only our country in mortal danger, but also add great risk to the rest of the free world.
(The "I Know Better Than The Top Military Plan.")

3) Never mind that Bill and I have made over 100 Million Dollars since leaving the White House, we're going to help the poor.
(The "Talk A Good Story Plan" aka: "Say Whatever It Takes Plan.")

4) Promote honesty in government. Juice up the "Landing under fire and dodging bullets in Bosnia story," later admit it was error and now watch an out-of-control Bill, just yesterday, trying to convince us that Hillary was just tired and the "Bullets and Fire" fable really was true.
(The "I Can't Remember Plan" aka, "The Vince Foster Plan.")

5) Be there at "3AM, when the phone rings" to solve massive problems.
(The "Hillary - Give Me That Phone Plan."

6) Deal with troublesome world leaders when she can't even deal with her "Bill Problem."
(The "What Do I Do Now, Bill, Plan.")

Give me a break!

"The dinosaurs were the last to know they were doomed."