Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Thomas Sowell on Oil

Some choice snippets from Mr. Sowell’s dynamite column today entitled, "Is Thinking Obsolete?"

"The government collects far more in taxes on every gallon of gasoline than the oil companies collect in profits. If oil company profits are "obscene," as some politicians claim, are the government's taxes PG-13?"

"The very politicians who have piled tax after tax on gasoline over the years, and voted to prohibit oil drilling offshore or in Alaska, and who have made it impossible to build a single oil refinery in decades, are all over the television screens denouncing the oil companies. In other words, those who supply oil are being denounced and demonized by those who have been blocking the supply of oil."

"People with no experience in business, no knowledge of history, and utterly ignorant of economics do not hesitate to leap from high prices to greedy profit-makers. Many of these ignorant people are on nationwide television and some are in Congress."

"In the early 20th century, the A & P grocery chain became renowned for both its low prices and its high quality. Its profit rate never fell below 20 percent during the decade of the 1920s. That's a higher rate of profit than the oil companies make."

As former House Majority Leader Dick Armey once put it: "Demagoguery beats data."

(You can read all of Mr. Sowell’s column at RealClearPolitics.)