Let’s Celebrate: Exxon Mobil Is Making Record-Breaking Profits
by Tula Connell
Trying to keep up with the bad economic news can take up most waking hours these days.
Just in the past few days, the following have been reported:
- U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a miniscule rate in the past quarter—0.6 percent, giving the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) cause to frame the data this way: “GDP flashing recession.”
- So what does a pathetic little increase in GDP mean in concrete terms? Says EPI economist L. Josh Bivens: “Annual growth of less than 2.5 percent is a recipe for rising unemployment. We’re already seeing this in three consecutive months of job loss, and considering the GDP numbers…we’ll surely see more in the coming months.”
- How bad is our nation’s health care crisis? In a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 7 percent of Americans say they or someone in their household decided to marry in the last year so they could get health care benefits via their spouse.
- Median black families have only about one-tenth as much in wealth holdings (including home equity) as median white households ($11,800 for blacks compared to $118,300 for whites). When home equity is removed from the calculations, the picture is even more dire: The median white family holds $36,100 in non-home wealth compared with $300 for blacks—for every $100 held by white families, the median black family holds only about 83 cents.
- U.S. home foreclosures continue to skyrocket. In the three months ending in March, the number of foreclosures totaled 649,917, up 23 percent from the previous quarter and 112 percent from the first quarter of 2007, according to RealtyTrac.
- The effects of the mortgage crisis are beginning to reverberate far beyond foreclosures. Home Depot, the world’s biggest home-improvement retailer, is closing 15 stores and firing 1,300 workers. The home furnishing store Bombay, is shutting down all its 360 stores in the United States. Levitz, the Sharper Image and others have filed for bankruptcy, and other stores, like Linens & Things, are “looking vulnerable.”
- High oil and food costs also are shell-shocking the nation’s economy. U.S. manufacturing output shrank for a third consecutive month in April, as employment shrank and prices increased. Says Bloomberg: “Manufacturers, which account for 12 percent of the economy, are cutting back as surging fuel and food costs and job losses cause consumers and businesses to retrench.”
- But just like the mainstream media, we should point out the silver lining here: Exxon Mobil earned more than $1,287 of profit for every second of 2007.
Tags: Gross Domestic Product , GDP , Home Equity , Jobs , Health Care , Recession , Exxon Mobil , Union , Unions , Labor
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