I love capitalism. I love a free market economy. I love the fact that a company can take advantage of supply and demand and make a great deal of money…but sometimes it goes too far.
What do I mean?
Well, price gouging is one example. During 9/11 some gas stations jacked up prices when people were panicking. This was clearly unethical and illegal. That example is quite obvious. I don’t even think there is another way to look at that situation in which it seems like a good idea.
But what about this situation?
Exxon Mobile has just recorded a record year for a U.S. company. They made $40.6 BILLION. Okay, let me break this down for you. We are in the midst of a recession because oil prices are sky rocketing. The theory was that oil supplies were low, thus there wasn’t much room for profit, but Exxon somehow managed to have the highest recorded profit in the 231 years of the United States. Is this unethical?
Don’t get me wrong. I love a free market economy. But this seems crazy. We are potentially looking at a terrible economic time, but Exxon, which affects our economy, is having the greatest time…ever…ever…in the history of ever.
I would love your comments. I assure you that I am not a communist. Nor a socialist.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.