by Caleb T. Maupin
Workers in the U.S. are suffering the horrors of an economic crisis. They are losing their homes and being laid off in record numbers. They are forced to pay skyrocketing prices to fill their gas tanks and to put food on the table. But the big corporations and bankers aren’t suffering with them.
In fact, ExxonMobil, the giant oil company, just reported the “largest ever quarterly operating profits for a U.S. company,” according to the Associated Press (July 31). While workers suffered, ExxonMobil raked in an unprecedented $11.68 billion in three months.
ExxonMobil has another record—a record of crimes the oil giant committed against the people and the environment. ExxonMobil’s recklessness in the famous Exxon Valdez oil spill caused 11 million gallons of oil to be dumped into the ocean. The state of Alaska says this “is widely considered the number-one spill worldwide in terms of damage to the environment.”
Record profits do not stop this oil giant from pressing for more and more wealth. Greed, the fundamental driving force of the capitalist economic system, is alive and well in the boardrooms of ExxonMobil. Now the company wants to revoke the regulations preventing offshore drilling and drilling on Federal Wildlife Reserves in Alaska!
ExxonMobil has spent millions of dollars to undermine and counter the scientific fact of global warming. While the horrors of ecological disaster loom, ExxonMobil has funded efforts to deny reality.
ExxonMobil is what the capitalist system is all about. Workers in Venezuela have realized that. The Chavez government has used the nationalized oil company profits to serve the needs of the people, thereby eliminating profits for the rich as the motivation behind oil production. As a result, in Venezuela, a gallon of gasoline currently costs less than 50 cents. The revenue reaped from oil production goes to building schools and health care clinics, not to line some capitalist’s pockets.
There is no fundamental difference between ExxonMobil and other major capitalist corporations. They all exist to make profits. Period.
The workers in Venezuela and Bolivia had the right idea when they stood up and fought back. As workers continue to suffer here, a real and lasting solution to the economic crisis demands a struggle to smash these heartless bloodsuckers of the working class, take back the earth’s natural resources, and build a world where the ruthlessness, exploitation, and corruption incarnated in ExxonMobil can no longer exist.
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