Excessive Greed is Economic Reality

Excessive Greed is Economic Reality

For several years, the entire world, including the United States, has been undergoing a severe economic recession, with record bankruptcies, bank closures, corporate failures, and extreme rates of unemployment. However, as in all things economic and political, all entities have not suffered equally.

While many people struggle, and demand for many items, including gasoline have fallen, certain companies have prospered. For example, Exxon Mobil had fourth quarter of 2010 earnings climb 53% to $9.3 billion. In light of the “spin” that has blamed oil producing nations for the run up in oil prices, it is important to understand that if prices were merely rising because of increased costs.

Companies such as Exxon Mobil would should revenue growth, but they would simultaneously have greater expenses, so their earning would not grow nearly that substantially. When earnings grow by 53%, I believe that this is indicative of corporate greed, where large multinational corporations benefit at the expense of the public.

Certainly, corporations are entitled to profits, as long as they are fair. When there is such substantial profit being made, it is simply a form of corporate greed and the public is being dramatically impacted.

It would be impossible for anyone not to notice what has been going on, both at the gas pump, filling up one’s car, or at one’s home or business, with the run up in energy costs being precipitated by this dramatic price increase.

This has even defied the economic law of supply and demand, because consumer demand for oil has actually decreased during that period. The large oil companies that are profiting by this will say that they are entitled to a profit, which they most certainly are.

However, when oil and gas rises as quickly and dramatically as it has, it is important to recognize the ancillary impact that has on many aspects of our lives. We all, of course, see the obvious increase at the gas pump and when heating oil is delivered. However, since most products are delivered, at least partly by truck, and trucks use diesel fuel (which in most areas of the country is even more expensive than gasoline).

The increased costs get passed along to the end user, the consumers (also known as the American public), in the form of higher prices. Anyone who goes to a supermarket has seen their average grocery bill go up, as either prices have risen to cover these increased costs, or sizes have been reduced (at the same cost as the original larger size- obviously, also a price increase).

My cleaner has been complaining about how his cost of packaging, hangers, plastic, etc., have been dramatically increasing. Obviously that has cost him to raise his prices, which has translated either into fewer people using his services because of costs, or higher prices to those who have continued using his service.

How foolish must our government think the average American is when they are showing almost no increase in the cost of living? About the only thing that has gone down is the price a homeowner must accept if he wants to sell his home.

Then, the government assesses homes at a lower price, making some individuals think that their real estate taxes will also decrease. However, all that actually happens is that the taxing authorities raise the rate taxed per assessed dollar, so again the individual takes the brunt of the pain.

Corporate greed, combined with governmental “spin” and inability to create a system to protect the average American during these times, has made these economic times trying, at best, for most Americans.

We have laws known as usury laws that protect consumers against unfair loan practices, where greedy loaners charge excessive interest for loaning money. Isn’t corporate greed simply another form of usury, with even worse ramifications to the country and its economic health and well-being?

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