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Beyond Oil Prices-- How Big Oil and Big Auto Companies Are Hurting America

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Oil companies are not only war profiteering, their beating up and destroying a lot of small businesses as they move towards oligopoly and monopoly as they price fix.

I had the brakes changed on my car today, using the same local mechanic, George, with a one-man shop I've been going to for at least 15, maybe 20 years. I was referred to him by a friend whose father went to him for a long time too. I saved about $100 off the price my car dealer quoted me. George and I talked a bit about how Oil companies and automobile companies are wiping out little operations like his. They charge so much for oil that most mechanics can't afford to run a gas station where they also service cars. Accepting credit cards, with 3-4% processing fees eats up all the profits, even with $3 a gallon gas prices. On to of that, the oil companies that own the land for the stations have raised the rents to unaffordable levels so the smalltime businessmen have to sell out to the oil companies.

If the few remaining private owners of their own stations try to find better pricing on the gasoline, they find that there is no competition between Big oil companies. Looks like price fixing, in terms of wholesale pricing/discounts, to me.

Then there are all the software upgrades for the engine analysis computers. I've long felt that the engine lights that seem to go on for the smallest reasons, even leaving a gas cap not screwed in tight enough, are scams. George told me it costs him a small fortune to buy and keep current all the updates required, as well as the computer hardware. He says its hard enough for a garage with six or eight mechanics, let alone a single operator like him.

I'd like to hear from you about your experiences and observations on this. Big oil and Big Auto are more and more becoming transnational conglomerates with headquarters outside the US.

It is a major loss to the US when we can no longer go to the local gas station to get a car worked on. When you look around at the sources to buy gasoline, more and more of them have company convenience shops where mechanics' garages used to be. You can't even get a flat tire fixed.

I think congress should investigate this. Big oil has been engaging in war profiteering-- bigtime-- and to top it off, they are wiping out another native industry-- a decent paying one that deserves protection.

 

Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and website architect of OpEdNews.com, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), and publisher of Storycon.org, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor . He is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Listen to over 200 of Rob's Podcast interviews here.

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With his experience as architect and founder of a technorati top 100 blog, he is also a new media / social media consultant and trainer for corporations, non-profits, entrepreneurs and authors.

Rob is a frequent Speaker on the bottom-up revolution, politics, The art, science and power of story, heroes and the hero's journey and Positive Psychology. He is a campaign consultant specializing in tapping the power of stories for issue positioning, stump speeches and debates, and optimizing tapping the power of new media. Watch me speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

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did you say, you wanted congress to look into the ... by Bill Ehleben on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 at 8:07:03 AM
Rob,I concur. Big oil has played a major role... by Dusty Nathan on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 at 8:57:10 AM
a turn signal light recently went out on my 1999 s... by PatA on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 at 9:10:15 AM
Big Oil and Big Auto are only part of the problem.... by Toby Touby on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 at 9:18:03 AM
This article says it well.  Unfortunately we ... by Corey Habbas on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 at 9:26:46 AM
every day i read something else that makes me sick... by Debbie Scally on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 at 11:08:01 AM
The poor theatre owner is next.  Once they instal... by Alessandro Machi on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 at 11:14:59 AM
Almost a year ago, I wanted to know who owned what... by Edward Ulysses Cate on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 at 11:31:07 AM
Ed Cate,Your links don't work!Dusty  &nbs... by Dusty Nathan on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 at 3:15:16 PM
With the White House populated with oilmen and the... by walley on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 at 2:35:49 PM
No one should make a profit on the woes of others,... by Professor Emeritus Peter Bagnolo on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 at 5:15:34 PM
Find out which local stations are owned by local i... by Rob Kall on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 at 9:44:43 PM
WOWeee, never fails for you guys over there in the... by Eddy Schmid on Thursday, Jun 7, 2007 at 3:47:12 AM
I haven't, however, seen anyone address the Bi... by ear on Thursday, Jun 7, 2007 at 12:33:14 PM