I get a haircut once a month whether I need one or not. Last month, when I handed a $20 bill to the lady dressed like a gridiron referee at Sport Clips, she said, “Where did this note come from?” I thought, “My wallet,” but she knows I travel a lot. I knew what she meant. With all the talk about the terrible “One-percenters” and “Big Oil” draining the middleclass and not paying their fair-share into Uncle Sam’s pockets, her question got me to thinking.
To drill deepwater in the Gulf of Mexico, Big Oil needs a rig that took three years to build using components from a thousand different companies and employs 190 people to run once it’s operational, (not counting shore-based support staff.)
Then, ole Big’n needs workboats, helicopters, casing, wellheads, cement, mud, directional drilling equipment, bits, mud logging and electric logging, a remotely operated sub, a cement unit and numerous other pieces of equipment. And he needs a lease he has to buy from Sam, who, after production begins, gets 18.5% in royalties.
To run all the above takes people—cementers, casing crews, pilots, boat captains, directional drillers, loggers, engineers, roughnecks, drillers, assistant drillers, roustabouts, crane operators, able-bodied seamen, cooks, medics, mechanics, electricians, radio operators, and many, many more.
That’s just to find it. Now he’s got to get it out of the ground and to market.
So, Ole Big’n uses after-tax money to pay companies who pay taxes to hire individuals who pay taxes who use their money to pay taxes on goods and services they buy from companies who use after-tax money to hire people who pay taxes … to finally pay the mortician and, in death, Uncle Sam 40% of everything not spent on taxes.
Dear Lord, I’m out of breath.
My thinking doesn’t run much beyond carburetors and mayonnaise, but I know well where my haircut money comes from.