The perennial flaw in the logic of “big-oil”-hating liberals like Maddow is that they are misled by the seeming bigness of an un-contextualized number. A profit of $1.74 billion indeed sounds pretty large. Until you realize it is still $430 million less than Google’s third-quarter profit of $2.17 billion. And it’s just over half of Apple’s $3.25 billion 2010 third quarter profit.
Still, the real tell isn’t in the profit but in the profit margin. Both Google and Apple spend far less money to make their titanic earnings than do “big oil” companies, which face gargantuan expenses–not to mention grave physical peril–in detecting, unearthing, and transporting their liquid product. Yet Maddow doesn’t devote one-sixth of her program’s airtime to disparaging large technology companies.
One further point of comparison from the restaurant industry. McDonald’s’ current annualized profit margin is 20.98%. It reported third quarter earnings of $1.4 billion. Ms. Maddow remains inexplicably silent about the obscenity of windfall Happy Meal profits.