The communists are coming. Ever since Exxon-Mobile announced its third-quarter earnings of over US$9.9 billion yesterday, folks have been acting like the company is stealing from the poor.
Sure, Exxon’s profits are absurdly huge. But did it get that money unfairly? Should it be forced to spread that wealth? Absolutely not. The company earned that money fair and square. No Expedition-driving soccer mom has ever been forced to fuel up at one of the company’s stations.
One of the most disheartening things that I have read lately is how many big-oil critics are calling for Exxon to spend its profits researching and searching for alternative energy sources. That concept is about as absurd as forcing a tobacco company to fund a non-smoking campaign, but unfortunately that’s already happening.
Exxon-Mobile is in the business of extracting, refining, and selling oil. That is what it has always done, and it should not be forced from its profitable business model just because jealous anti-capitalists feel it doesn’t deserve what it has earned.
Many critics feel Exxon should reinvest some of its profits in constructing new refineries. These folks want to add more supply to the tight oil market. Yes, it would be nice if there were more crude supply, but, no doubt, it would have a negative effect on Exxon’s bottom line.
Until the U.S. burns its constitution and the “red” take over, no company should be forced by the government to take action that would negatively impact its bottom line. As long as people are willing to spend their money at gas stations, Exxon will continue to make huge profits. It’s the American way.