Monday, April 14, 2008

Our Country's Executives Define New Math

What are you guys paying for a gallon of gas these days? In this part of the country, we're paying right around $3.29. Some of you who live in other parts of the world are probably saying, "So what? That's not all that high!", right? Well I think it is. I think it's absolutely outrageous. I've been griping about the rising gas prices for a couple of years now. I don't get how the oil companies are getting away with charging so much. Yeah, yeah, yeah...I've gotten the whole "It's not the oil companies, it's the federal, state and local taxes that are driving the cost up" line of BS. I don't buy that. In fact, I don't understand how anybody could buy that. When Exxon/Mobil is posting a net income profit of $11.66 billion for one quarter - I'm thinking maybe they're getting their fair share of the money from each gallon of gas sold. Furthermore, when the oil companies bitch and moan about having to shut down a refinery here and there because it's "outdated" and "in need of repairs", I think maybe they're sticking most of that "net profit" into the pockets of their CEO's instead of reinvesting it into their companies (as many of them claim their companies are doing). I'm no financial Wall Street wizard, that much is true (and pretty obvious, if you saw my checkbook!). But even I can see a direct line from the huge, unbelievable net profits being made by oil companies straight to the cost of filling up my car with gas. Can't you? Or is this just an example of the New Math I've heard so much about? It's kind of like the Fed lowering prime interest rates...and the credit card companies raising their rates. Doesn't make sense to me and in fact, looks kind of like the government is paving the way for the credit card companies to make more money. I thought the point was to help the consumer! Just goes to show how stupid I can be! (Again, must be that dang New Math. I've got to get a book and study how that works!)
Hey, did ya'll hear about American Airlines cancelling upwards of 3,000 flights last week? They had to ground parts of their fleet because they had failed to comply with a September 2006 safety directive from the FAA regarding the MD-80 aircraft. Let's spell that out, shall we? American Airlines was told approximately a year and a half ago to fix a potential safety problem and they failed to do so. Failed. As in "did not do it". Ignored the directive. Didn't bother to fix the problem until they were forced to. However, just this very morning I heard on one of the news shows that American Airlines executives are set to receive "large bonuses" quite soon. Why did I hear about this? Because American Airlines pilots are a little ticked about it. And why are they ticked about it? Well, according to Wade Goodwyn of NPR this is why:
"Four years ago, the airline's unions took large salary cuts to keep it from going bankrupt. Their sacrifice was instrumental in turning the nation's largest carrier around. But now executives are receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses, and that has infuriated the company's rank-and-file employees."

Yeah - the employees of AA took substantial cuts in order to keep their jobs and to keep the company going, but the executives are still raking in the big bucks. What are they getting paid for, exactly? Nearly bankrupting the company or failing to comply with safety regs? Boggles my mind, but that's only because I don't get the New Math. Here's what the head honcho had to say about the safety thing, though (per Nick Godt of MarketWatch, April 12, 2008):
The flight cancellations are expected to have cost AMR more than "tens of millions of dollars," Chief Executive Gerard Arpey said in a news conference on Thursday. Arpey apologized to customers and took "full, personal responsibility" for the groundings, saying the 38 pages of FAA directive for the wiring were "extremely complex" and misinterpreted.
Hmmmm. It's expected to cost more than "tens of millions of dollars", but execs are receiving "hundreds of millions of dollars" in bonuses. Hard to feel bad for American Airlines execs when you see that, even if you are able to understand the concept of this New Math. And as to the "extremely complex" directive from the FAA...Yo! Mr. Arpey! In the 18 months since you received that directive, did anyone ever ask for clarification from the FAA? Anybody ask McDonnell Douglas (who made the planes in the first place) for assistance? Anyone snag a copy of "Hooked on Phonics" and assign a janitor to read it to you? Or did you and the rest of your executive crew just sit around in your executive offices, scratching your executive arses trying to figure out such executive imponderables as "I wonder what the FAA's definition of 'is', is?" and "To which bundle of wire in the wheel well do they refer when they say to 'secure it' ". I mean really! How many unsecured bundles of wire do they have floating around in the wheel wells and how many rocket scientists does it take to figure out how to secure them? Those are just a couple of questions I think bear asking, not that their answers really matter. I guess what it all boils down to is this: Executive types don't really need to understand the common sense issues, do they? They've got New Math and, apparently, that's all you need to have in order to get away with legalized robbery in this country these days. Just wish I knew where they kept that New Math textbook hidden. Sure wouldn't mind getting me a peek of that thing...........


  1. as far as the new math goes it is simple get paid to screw the most people you can,gouge every one you can and pay out the least wages that you have to.that means moveing the american jobs to the third world countries and to he** with those workers here in the country.

  2. Yea Kari--once again you speak for the masses!!!

    Here in Tulsa OK, a certain tax incentive, Vision 2025, metered out small amounts to surrounding communities, and gave themselves small amounts for certain items, i e road repair, street repair, etc, and PAID American Airlines in excess of 20,000 (I'm gonna look the exact amount up and let you know) to ease their financial woes.

    What about all the other companies who honestly couldn't make it????

    And what about the public????

    More of that New Math?????

  3. Ok I did my research--AA got (sit down and get the wet towels)
    $22.3 Million

    That's right--

    Please figure my raise with the "new math"!!!

  4. Yeah - it really does boggle the mind, doesn't it? I believe we can blame the environmentalists for the high gas prices. If we could tap into Alaska and build a few more refineries in the states, we might be OK. The waste of money (must be the new math again) of having refineries on islands in the caribbean is crazy! They have to ship EVERYTHING in! Milk is $6/gallon and the refinery houses it's employees for free and gives HUGE Paychecks to contractors on top of HUGE per diem checks (I know this because we were one of those contractors for a short period of time). We rented a car for $800/week! How crazy is that? And the refinery gladly paid for the entire thing! So... there goes our gas money... flushed down some Caribbean toilet (probably literally because water there is also horribly expensive)

  5. When you learn the new math, can you teach it to me? I have heard that the Stations that sell the gas make little if any profit on the sale of gas...can this be true? Do they only make money on the crap they sell inside? Of course most stations are owned privately by citizens, right? Are they really? Not buying into that one either...ok, when you get our text books, I'm ready to learn!
    Aunt Sandi

  6. Well said! Bravo!

    Preach it sister!

    (did you see the new $5.00 bill I posted today?)

  7. All terribly complicated, isn't it? Or at least I find it so. I do, however, wish that we could prevail with drilling for oil in our own country and in building new refineries. It is never good to be dependant upon Mexico, Canada, or the Middle East for oil.

    (We're paying $3.36 a gallon as of yesterday...lots of extra taxes in my state. Wish the state legislature would lighten up, too.)

  8. Once again you hit the mark, Kari!


  9. We are paying $3.59 per gallon right now! And I am so sick of it! They are saying it's going to be over $4.00 a gallon here by Memorial Day.

    I stay home even more than I used to now. I also try to plan my errands so that I go in a big circle, going to all the places I need to, and then back home.

  10. Fabulous post! It's insanely criminal what they are getting away with and well, just don't me started cause I'll write more than you did on your post! Aggrevates me to no END!
    On another note - have a great week.
    Sandy :)

  11. Have you seen the new Ford commercial about their vehicles being as good as Toyota? Then you pick up the paper and find Toyota has a huge recall. Hmm. Great post! Totally agree with ya.

  12. Uggghhhhh! Don't remind me - I work for an airline!

    Please stop by my blog and read about a creative contest I am holding with a great prize. If you are not interested - please forward it onto as many people as you can. Thank you!

  13. Sing it have the right if we can just get the "suits" to listen...reminds me of the newscast about the turnpike authority in Dallas...well, Texas actually, but it was referencing the 121 toll after a while it would have paid for itself...then would be free for the public ( you know like they did with the old Fort Worth/Dallas turnpike now known as I-30) know they found a "loop hole"....they say that to keep up with the ever growing population they are constantly having to improve road conditions as well as they just tack those cost on to the tail end of the 121 note (yea what happened to the tax money we pay in for those kind of improvements??)...and we continue to will NEVER pay for itself at this rate...b/c it is actually paying for OH so much MORE! about they take some of that tax money we pay in...the new math...and possibly someone with some kahoonas and put in a working/workable mass transit system!! Don't get me started!!

    Thanks for the post...I enjoyed it and passed it on to many of my friends!


  14. I had to laugh as I read this post, but I am just as furious as you are...Don't ya just sometimes feel like are hands are tied? Frustrating.


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