Saturday, September 24, 2022

Big Oil's Profits Over The Last Fifty Years

 I was watching PBS Newshour Saturday when a segment came up about the disparity between Big Oil's Advertising which clearly says that they are all on target to being non-fossil based by 2050 and the truth which is that that is complete bullshit.

That notwithstanding, I was bought up short by an end of segment factoid: Big Oil has made 2.8 billion dollars a day in profit for the last fifty years.

I had a sense that that is a number so big that it might test my ability to comprehend it.

But I tried.

To comprehend it.

Here's what my calculator came up with.

I think that that is 51 trillion one hundred billion dollars.

Not a trivial sum.

Remember: that is profit, not revenue.

That got me to wondering what the US government has spent on average each year over the last fifty.

That turns out to be about 2.1 trillion dollars a year.

Toted up over fifty years, that's 105 trillion dollars, or about half of what one American industry has made over those years.

I wondered next what percent the American economy is the oil industry?

That percent turns out to be 7.6%.

So, over the last fifty years 7.6% of our GDP has generated profits that are about half of what the government has spent in its annual budgets.

I'm not smart enough to deal with what I sense to be what we call in bar-room discussions "an anomaly".

We can't afford a first world health care safety net; we can't afford universal childcare; we can't afford free post-secondary education; we can't afford universal long term health care.

There are many more things we can't afford but right now I can't remember them.

But we can't afford any of the things that I have itemized - or so say Ol' Mitch and the Boys.

But we have one industry that is less than ten percent of our economy generating profits amounting to about half of the US annual budget.

If they were to have paid a tax rate of 35% - which is what they claim - they would have picked up roughly 17% of the Federal tab over the last fifty years; surely the other 90% of the economy must have generated some profit?

Do they not pay taxes?

If they did would that not have perhaps brought the kitty available for spending on things the American people actually need to a level for the United States to become a first world country?

As I said, I'm not smart enough to see through what I perceive to be an anomaly. 

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