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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Gadflyer: Fly Trap: ...So hard for the Money

Jonathan Weiler (8:28PM) link
As I am sure many of you have seen over the past couple of days, ExxonMobil announced record profits for 2005 ? roughly $10 billion for the fourth quarter and $36 billion for the year. That's a lot of money. Defenders say that ExxonMobil is merely reaping the hard-earned benefits of market forces, which have conspired to drive up demand. According to Ben Stein, appearing on CNN on January 21st, people should not be berating oil companies because the companies are performing a critical, and difficult service, and should be well-compensated for it. Stein's contention is:
"?they [oil company executives] make much less than Hollywood stars, they make much less than Wall Street traders and they do a much great[sic] service. I mean, what is the service that is done by Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie compared with the service of putting oil in our house's furnace or gas in our cars? There's no shortage of people who get paid a great deal more than oil company executives for doing a lot less work and a lot less useful work. They're paid well compared to me but they're not paid well compared to many, many, many executives and entrepreneurs in this country."


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