A couple of recent news reports captured my attention pretty quickly.
Last week I heard the CEO of a major U. S. oil company interviewed on NBC. His particular company, not really a very large one, had seen profits rise annually from a beginning point of a bit over $4 billion in 2003 to almost $16 billion in 2006.
When asked about the rising price of fuel in the U. S. today, the very nice man started down the road of supply and demand. He also threw in the claim that Americans, despite rising prices, continue to drive and demand more fuel.
The fact that the price of a barrel of crude oil sells today for about $10 less than it did a few months ago doesn't seem to be doing anything but continuing to drive prices up. Something seems a bit out of whack to me. How about you?
The last time I filled up, I paid $3.15 per gallon. I wonder what % of their profit margin is being directed toward alternative fuel research and development?
Jeremy Gregg, our Director of Development, sent me some information about the impact of rising fuel costs on other consumer goods. Jeremy's point was to have me consider the effect of such a reality on the poor and their families.
Ground beef: +2.7%
(Source: The Dallas Morning News, "Food prices add up: Increasing fuel prices are also being felt at the supermarket," http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/stories/DN-foodprices_28bus.ART.State.Edition1.c35172.html .)
Then there was the little side bar report about a new initiative put forward by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to provide very inexpensive birth control pills for the benefit of family planning among the poor in his country. Under the plan, 10,000 drugstores across Brazil would make the a year's supply of the pills available to low-income people at a total annual cost per person. . .are you ready for this???. . .of $2.40!
The President said his plan would give poor Brazilians "the same right that the wealthy have to plan the number of children they want" (The Dallas Morning News, Tuesday, May 29, 2007, page 6A).
Sounds like a good effort.
But, look at that price! I'm I missing something?
I'm wondering, can someone convince Brazil to tell us where to buy our pharmaceuticals as a nation? Or, could it be that the price is tied to the government's power to purchase in such mass quantities and directly from the manufacturer? Again, just wondering about solutions to the practical problems we face here every day.