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Old 04-18-2007, 09:21 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Scoob View Post
The oil companies have the same monopoly as the railroads did.
Not true.
One rail line in town, 3 brands of gas station just within walking distance of my house.
Monopoly means one, it's fairly simple really.
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OPEC has some blame and there is not a lot you can do about that.
True, our only options would be for the government to make it illegal to do business with an OPECker or, we can start some more wars, either option is pretty much guaranteed to launch fuel prices through the roof.

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Where big oil is getting rich is in the refineries. They shut them down for "inspection" for the sole purpose of driving up the fuel prices. Or shut them down altogether even though they know there is not enough production to meet the present demand. How is that not a monopoly? How are they not controlling commerce in the same way.
Again, monopoly means one, one rail line through town, want to ship by rail? you have one option. try to ship another way in those days and the rail companies were sending out hitmen to to eliminate wagon freighters that they couldn't simply buy.
Now that we have monopoly defined, on to refineries.
From a quick google search it looks like there are more than 30 companies operating about 150 refineries in America, that's quite a bit of competition, it's certainly not a monopoly and contrary to the conspiracy theorists, I've never seen any evedence that the big oil companies sent out hitmen to off the little old man that developed the 100mpg carberator or anyone working on alternative fuels.
Want to know why refineries go down? they are running at capacity 24/7/365 days a year, if we had more refineries they wouldn't need to run them so hard and they wouldn't break down so often. Talk to the enviromentalists who protest anything and everything about refineries, they're the biggest problem.
But think about it, it's their product, they can charge whatever they want for it and it wouldn't be illegal even if Iquois thinks it is so they don't need to make up excuses to raise their prices.
Right now the price is a minor inconvenience for most people, there's no indication that the majority of Americans are being financially crippled by the current prices. People are still buying toys like JEEPS and campers and boats, they wouldn't be if they couldn't afford gas.
It certainly hasn't hurt the economy, our economy is chugging along quite well even if the talking heads on the boob tube want you to think we're in the middle of the great depression.
I drive truck for a living and we're generally the first indicator of a slow down in the economy because when people stop buying we stop hauling. We're running along as strong as ever.


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Let me guess your going to give your standard well thought out answer of don't buy it
If you don't like my answers you can stop reading, I don't need the condescending attitude. Iquois kinda burned me out on the better than thou crap.

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Me not buying it does not stop me from having to pay higher prices on everything due to their greed. The food you eat, the house you live in and everything in it was touched by fuel in some way. To simply not use it is not an option for the 99% of the people that don't want to live life just like the 1700's.We are not talking about raising the price of Oreo cookies even though they went up to because it cost more to truck them now. We are talking something the whole country MUST have to survive and compete in the world.
Call it what ever you want. But when big business can put the entire country in a bind for greed alone, then yes the government should step in.
Just like they did to the railroads.
One more time, I did not say we should stop using oil!!!!
Iquois said you cant go a day without oil and I pointed out that he was full of crap, that's it.
I have said that if you can't afford it, or you think it's unfair then you should conserve or start looking for alternatives. if everybody in America switched to flourencent lights we could cut our energy usage dramatically, we have have you?
If everybody in America rode a bike or a moped or a bus when driving wasn't absolutely necassary fuel prices would drop.
Simple conservation can have dramatic effects if enough people do it, enough people aren't going to do it if you artificially manipulate fuel prices. As long as we have cheap energy there is no incentive to develop alternatives.

Ok, now lets look at what the government did for the railroads.
Are rail prices fair? we looked into traveling by rail a few years ago, it would've cost more to travel by rail than to fly. Are the railroads profitable? no we have to subsidize the rail lines to keep them afloat, that's our tax money being given to private industry because they aren't profitable under government regulation, they have no incentive to compete and make a profit because the government controls them.

Want a clearer example? I cut my foot up with a chainsaw a few years ago and I had just started a new job so I didn't have insurance.
I trotted..well, hobbled off to the emergency room to get it fixed.
The nurse spent about 20 minutes cleaning and trimming and then the doc came in and spent about 10 minutes stitching me up and about 5 minutes writing out a shopping list of supplies and instructions for changing my bandages.
I hobbled off to the drugstore and for about $20 I purchased all the gauze, tape and antibiotic cream I would need to take care of my wound.
Several weeks later I recieved the bill from the emergency room, it totaled more than $600. It was itemized and one of the items was gauze used = $80, I had purchased about 3 times as much gauze at the drugstore for less than $20. When I called the billing department to ask why I was being charged so much I was told that the government sets the prices they were allowed to charge, If I didn't like it I needed to take it up with them.
We have 3 hospitals in town, without government regulation they would compete for business but since they're regulated they just charge the standard rates.
We have half a dozen drugstores in town, they compete in the free market, they want your business so they offer their product at a reasonable rate.Now how about gas.
We have at least 6 different gas brands here in town, the cheapest is the chevron station just down the road, they have a constant line of cars getting gas, They're making money hand over fist and they've done alot of remodeling lately.
The highest price is the Shell station about 4 blocks south, they almost never have anyone fueling up, their station is run down and I'm suprised they stay in business because they obviously don't have the sense to try offering their product at a competative rate.

That's what government regulation gets you, you think gas prices are high now? put the government in charge and watch em skyrocket.
Think about it, who can pay the politicians the biggest bribe, you or an oil company? who do you think the politician is going to listen to.

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Old 04-18-2007, 09:45 AM   #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeter View Post
Ok, now lets look at what the government did for the railroads.
Are rail prices fair? we looked into traveling by rail a few years ago, it would've cost more to travel by rail than to fly. Are the railroads profitable? no we have to subsidize the rail lines to keep them afloat, that's our tax money being given to private industry because they aren't profitable under government regulation, they have no incentive to compete and make a profit because the government controls them.
Ahh, not to get in the middle of this wonderful discussion but the only railroad that is controlled and fully funded by the government is Amtrash I mean Amtrak. When the big railroads decided to shut down passenger trains the government got involved because they thought there was a need for passenger trains. Amtrak is not a Private company as one would think of it. It is a government cooperation. The reason that they are not profitable is because they hire 6 people to do a job that only take one person. This reason is also why alot of the Amtrak controlled contracts are being taken over by private companies that can do the same job profitable and cheaper. Amtrak is an aging dinosaur that will be extinct in the future because of its old ways of thinking. Personally Skeeter I would not travel on Amtrak and I work for a railroad.

Early railroads were evil, for the same reason many huge cooperations are evil today. They are greedy. I believe that if a railroad receives gov subsidies then they are bound by government control. My mouth and lack of PC has prevented me from becoming privy to some info. Freight rail makes a huge profit each year one 100+ car coal train is a million dollar train and the pig trains (container trains you see that look like they have trailers on them) are so valuable that they are escorted by railroad special agents. The railroads that are actually running freight are profiting quite well without any government help.

Just saw a generalization and I don't want to be grouped in with a government controlled dinosaur like Amtrak. It is my livelihood after all.

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Old 04-18-2007, 10:02 AM   #153
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Ahh ok, thank you , I didn't know that.
My only experience with rail was that one trip.
Still shows that .gov can bugger up a wet dream though
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Old 04-18-2007, 10:34 AM   #154
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No worries Skeet, alot of people only deal with Amtrak as they are in the public eye. Ironic how the most unefficient railraod is in direct contact with the public. Isn't beaurocracy fun but in a way we need it. Several other cooperations are the USPS, TVA, most power companies, Water companies, etc. Alot of federal control but if it wasn't here we would be subject to the power of the rich robber-barons. One example is power company deregulation here in Texas. I can only speak for myself but my electric bill has gone up 40 percent since deregulation and has caused me to set the AC at 80 deg. in the summer just to keep the bill under 400 dollars a month. Whenever private companies that are run by Human beings are allowed to run wild someone is going to foot the bill. Whether it is in taxes or increased cost of product to satisfy their greed. I am a firm believer in majority rule, and small government control, but in some cases it is a nessasary evil because people and cooperations/companies will not police themselves when left unwatched. Just my personal opinion of coarse.
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Old 04-18-2007, 04:22 PM   #155
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I like the greenies pushing the flourescent bulbs...what is the poisonous material in them that disallows disposal in the trash??good thinking there!
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Old 04-18-2007, 05:03 PM   #156
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Murcury but it's a minute amount and is not disallowed in trash.
You can also recycle fluorescent lights which would be much bettert than just throwing them away.
Our oldest fluorescent is on the front porch, it's probably 6 years old now, when we were using incandescents we would burn em out every few months.

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Where can I find lighting disposal policies and contact information for my state or province?
Please refer to our state disposal policies page. In most states, fluorescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs used at home can be disposed of in the same way as regular light bulbs. While all fluorescent bulbs contain a trace amount of mercury, the quantity is so minute that disposal is not regulated by federal standards (established by the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency). You would have to dispose of an incredibly large amount of fluorescent bulbs — around 360 4-foot fluorescent tubes — before you would be subject to federal disposal standards. However, individual states and provinces also have established disposal standards, so you should check the disposal policies in your area.
GE Consumer & Industrial Lighting: Ask Us: FAQs - Ballasts and Fluorescent Tubes

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Currently, fluorescent light tubes and HID lamps are neither listed nor excluded as hazardous wastes under EPA regulations. Prior to disposal, tubes and lamps can be handled and stored safely without being managed as hazardous waste. They can also be disposed in any municipal solid waste landfill, as long as the waste does not fail the TCLP and become classified as hazardous. However, once the waste containing the fluorescent light tubes and HID lamps is declared hazardous, it must be handled as such with all the accompanying regulations and procedures.
Disposal of Fluorescent Light Tubes, High Intensity Discharge Lamps and Flourescent Lamp Ballasts

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