record profits?!?

i listen to a lot of public radio all day long when i am in the shop and i am grateful to leave the work environment with a little more awareness of the world at the end of the day. i tend to think about the state of the world and humanity as some sort of continually fluctuating ticker tape tracking the “goin to hell in a handbasket” lows with the “i am happy to be a human being” highs. it seems like the anxiety of the election just days away and the economic situation the united states is in fills up the airwaves and the newspaper headlines but today i caught a little article about exxon mobile posting record profits in the 3rd quarter. while the world was watching the world of wall street fall to it’s knees and have to be bailed out by the government, exxon was making 14.38 billions dollars. it outrages me. the largest profit ever by an american corporation and the rest of the country is falling victim to the same unregulated corporate monopolies. arg! support the little guy and ride bikes. my friend erik zo told me a long time ago that every time you open up your wallet, you are casting a vote. i try to think about this every time i pull a dollar out of my pocket. am i adding my dollar to that 14.38 billion that is going to exxon and exploiting people all over the world or will i pass it along to someone who is using that dollar to make the community better. in the end it is hard to not draw a line to oil in one way or another. i want to be able to make bikes, be able to afford health care and act in a way that will make the world better for my friend’s kid’s kids.

while i listened to npr and fumed, i also continued to work on e. strong’s bike and custom stem and shipped out dan’s cx frame and fork to nashville. here are the pictures of dan’s frame before it went in the box.

sorry for the rant but i hope you are a little riled by the news.



7 Responses to “record profits?!?”

  1. MtMann Says:

    As they say, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.” To continue the rant a little. Obama is being criticized as a “socialist” for wanting to “spread the wealth.” But it’s largely a result of tax subsidies (my money and yours) that allowed Exxon those record profits. So I’m unapologetic is claiming hell yes, we could use a little more socialism. And you are absolutely right that we vote with every dollar we spend. I for one hope Ira Ryan gets plenty of votes as Exxon goes down in flames.

  2. Seth Says:

    agreed – the way each individual spends their money has a large impact on how the world evolves. One of the classic examples is food – by supporting co-ops and local food production you help guarantee that they will remain in business, providing local/fresh/healthy food…and this keeps money in the local economy. Interestingly, as the price of fuel goes up and up, the grocery store prices are going up, making the co-op prices relatively lower. Some items, such as eggs, are now less expensive at the food co-op.

    Bikes are another great example of supporting your local economy and voting with your wallet.

    Another piece of this puzzle that most people usually don’t think about is the actual payment method used. If you use plastic to pay, consider paying the small business with a debit card rather than a credit card. The transaction fee for that is usually .39 or .49 per transaction with debit. With a credit card, the merchant pays .29 or so PLUS 1.5 – 3.0+ percent of the total purchase. For the merchant, this can easily mean that it is 1-2% less revenue…for the big guys that might not matter, but for small/local business, it can add up to hundreds/thousands of dollars in merchant fees every month. Cash, obviously, has no transaction fee and is usually the best if possible.


  3. rita012 Says:

    I’m outraged as well. It makes me sick that we are in recession, and yet oil companies are cashing in.

    Here’s a really great interview worth watching with the author of “The Tyranny of Oil”. She explains how the big oil companies are at the top of their financial and political power in the U.S. while at the same time, they are facing the extinction of their product. And, rather than investing in alternative energy, they are working to get their hands on as much remaining oil as possible- working with governments to accomplish this. She also talks about how we as ordinary citizens can ban together to stop this. It’s very interesting.

  4. Ari Says:

    At home we got rid of credit cards, ride as much as possible and buy locally, with cash. We have also downsized and simplified as much as possible. Coops are great! I think more longtails have to come out.

  5. Jason Says:

    can’t agree more with everyone else and you Ira. I really feel like the leaders of some of these companies are genuinely evil. Really, how many people can you exploit, how many habitats can you destroy and how many consumers can you rip off and how many documents can you shred or falsify all in the name of making your stockholders happy? If you’re already a billionaire, is your quality of life really going to improve by making another million dollars? ugh.

  6. antbikemike Says:

    Ira, right on! I am very pleased to see that you use your blog this way. Not just the bike dribble that everyone else writes. I have always been a fan of “Voting with Dollars”. Keep up the good work.

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