“Exxon made more money than God” – but much less than Apple

On Friday, President Biden pointed the finger at ExxonMobil
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to reap big profits due to high oil and gas prices. The president complained, “Why don’t you tell them what Exxon’s earnings have been this year? This trimester? Exxon has made more money than God this year. Exxon, start investing. Start paying your taxes.

Other prominent Democrats have also vilified oil companies in an effort to deflect anger over high gas prices. Earlier this year, Bernie Sanders blamed inflation on high oil company profits, which reflected a complete failure to understand cause and effect.

Oil companies don’t reap huge profits because they defraud consumers, and their high profits don’t cause inflation. High profits and soaring inflation are both the result of high oil prices, and oil companies have little influence over this.

Oil companies are always a convenient scapegoat, especially for Democrats. But let’s look at ExxonMobil’s earnings in context. Plus, let’s compare the company’s net earnings to Apple’s
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over the past 10 quarters.

Last quarter, ExxonMobil reported net income of $5.5 billion. If that’s “more than God,” I wonder how President Biden would quantify Apple’s $25.0 billion for the quarter. Five times more than God? Oh, and ExxonMobil also paid $2.8 billion in taxes for the quarter, so it looks like they’re paying their taxes.

Over the past 12 months, ExxonMobil reported net income of $25.8 billion compared to Apple’s $101.9 billion. But if we look further back, the gap is much worse.

ExxonMobil has posted losses in four of the last ten quarters, including a whopping $20.1 billion loss in December 2020. That’s what can happen when you don’t control the price of the product you’re selling.

You don’t see that happening with Apple. They have never earned less than $11.2 billion in the last ten quarters. Add it all up and include the losses, and over the past ten quarters, ExxonMobil has earned $11.8 billion and Apple has earned $211.7 billion.

Maybe someone can help me understand this concept of price gouging.

ExxonMobil sells a product that is priced in global commodity markets. They earn a fraction of Apple’s profits.

Apple completely controls the price of its products and exceeds ExxonMobil’s profits every quarter. Apple could significantly reduce the price of its products while making huge profits. But ExxonMobil can’t reduce the price of its products because it doesn’t set the price.

However, it is ExxonMobil which accuses him of abuse.

If you want to know how we end up with bad energy policies, it’s because too many politicians believe things that aren’t true.

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