Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How Shall We Then Live?

Yesterday it was in the high 70s, and we actually had a reprieve from the driving winds. It was pleasant.

Today, the high will be more than 20 degrees less, and while it's only breezy now, winds are expected to get to 40+ mph today and tomorrow.

My tomato plants languish on the porch.

The ones the stupid kittens didn't uproot and destroy, that is.

Gas is through the roof.

Groceries are through the roof.

The weather isn't promoting gardening self-sufficiency.

What are people doing in the midwest where they're dealing with tornadoes or flooding? How does their garden grow?

The idiots in charge of Congress think taxing oil companies will help. Let me ask you something... If no more dairies or cows were allowed to be in production, and milk was an absolute necessity to the operation of every aspect of America's economy and citizens, should we be punishing the dairymen? Should they not be allowed to profit from their business? In fact, what if it was the cows that, each day, demanded more feed to produce the milk? What if it was the cows that got together and decided what they would require in exchange for production, and whether (or not!) to produce any more, even as demand went up? What would you expect the price of milk to do if we started levelling extra taxes upon the bottlers/distributors of the milk?

Doesn't seem reasonable, does it?

What if the dairymen came up with a plan to get their own cows for milk production, figuring that if they had some cows that weren't part of The Milk Union, they could flood the market with milk produced at far lower cost... And the price would drop (even for milk provided by The Union).

Oh, wait. The same idiots that desire to further tax the producers WILL NOT ALLOW that. No more cows! Cows are bad!

So what if other Non-Union cows were right across the fence, producing for places like China! Yes, China has oil rigs off our coastline, and they're slant-drilling. They're taking oil from right under us.

But we won't, because it might hurt the environment. By all means, leave the local drilling to China! We know how much they care about the environment.

But, shouldn't we tax the oil companies just because they make too much money? What do you suppose their profit margin is? The way some in Congress talk, you'd think the CEOs were sitting around in a cloud of cigar-smoke, plotting ways to hurt America. Guess what? Their profit margin (depending on where you look) is anywhere from 4% - 10.7%. Evil money-grubbers. Oh, wait again... Microsoft's margin of profit is 26%! And as far as I know, there are no excise taxes on Windows. On the other hand, the government makes four or five times as much on a gallon of gas as Big Oil does. At least Big Oil transports, refines, supplies and delivers the stuff. Government? Notsomuch.

I don't understand how this doesn't create an uproar. Oil, at least for now, is the fuel on which America operates. Until we have another option, we need to keep that oil flowing. What else is so necessary? Food? But no one lobbies to tax those evil farmers. No, in fact, the government subsidizes food production. Subsidizes! They help pay for it!

This paradox is almost as brain-cramp-inducing as 52 degrees, and 30mph winds in June. But I can't blame big government for the weather.



MamaJ said...

Whew! You wore me out with that venting!! Bravo! Bravo!
Can you do any greenhouse gardening? Or use those "grow lamps" on a window sill for herbs/tomatoes? Trying to brainstorm....

Mrs. Amy Brigham said...

This is majorly off-topic, but I just had to tell you that the comment you left over on Books & Brains blog nearly made me spit out the water in my mouth from the laughter that ensued. :P

We've been shopping at the co-op here and even with my ONE daughter I get sneers, all while having arrived via the bus not a car, carrying my reusable bags & bulk food containers, and wearing thrifted clothes--on me and my cloth diapered baby. All our purchase items are then enjoyed in our tiny, energy efficient apt, where we grow food, dry laundry on the line, and make our own non-toxic cleaning supplies, recycle & compost! *snorts* It is too funny, isn't it!

Thank you for the laugh your comment gave me today. ;o)

Michael Eden said...

I have heard this statistic a few times now, and it is in line with other figures I've verified:

79% of the cost of gasoline directly results from the cost of oil on a per-barrel basis (and, since US oil companies aren't allowed to drill for American oil, that price is set by foreign cartels and international speculators).
15% of the price of gasoline results from federal and state taxes.
4% of the price of gasoline comes from oil company profits, which is actually well under the average corporate profitability. Meanwhile, the political demagogues who blame "big oil" for everything make four times as much profit!

God endowed this land with abundant energy resources, and we should responsibly USE THEM. It's pathetic: the same people who scream about our involvement in the Middle East force us to stay there by requiring us to buy - and protect - their oil.

EllaJac said...

Michael, thank you for that information. It's one of those things that I just can't wrap my brain around... WHY do they insist on this route! I completely agree that responsible use of oil (and whatever) is the only way to go.