"Medicine for practical reasons..." Did I just screw myself over?

funshine

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During a student interview, I kept getting variants of the "Why medicine" question over and over...I had already used up my typical premed answers, and so I said, very matter-of-factly, "Well, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you there were also practical reasons for going into medicine.” Stupid move. STUPID [email protected]!!!!!!!!!! He narrowed his eyes, asked me to elaborate, and I spent the rest of the miserable interview trying to explain what I meant. I think I did OK, but his total change in demeanor makes me fear the worst. I think b/c he was a student, I expected him to undertand, but he clearly did not. I should've suspected as much. After all, what kind of medical student would want to interview pre-meds anyway?!! I'm wondering if any of you have said this in an interview, and whether you got a similar reaction. I honestly think it should be an innocuous and very reasonable thing to say. Why does our society place so much value on "professionalism" at the expense of other traits like honesty?

I'm also wondering if any of you have gotten the same old question fired at you in various forms during the same interview? When they do that, does this mean you didn't answer their question well enough the first time? Or that they just want to hear more? Or that they're senile?
 

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What practical reasons did you cite? I think most people go into medicine for practical (in addition to other) reasons. I guess it just depends on how you worded it.
 

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Please tell me you didn't say money, cash, hoes...
 
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funshine said:
During a student interview, I kept getting variants of the "Why medicine" question over and over...I had already used up my typical premed answers, and so I said, very matter-of-factly, "Well, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you there were also practical reasons for going into medicine.” Stupid move. STUPID [email protected]!!!!!!!!!! He narrowed his eyes, asked me to elaborate, and I spent the rest of the miserable interview trying to explain what I meant. I think I did OK, but his total change in demeanor makes me fear the worst. I think b/c he was a student, I expected him to undertand, but he clearly did not. I should've suspected as much. After all, what kind of medical student would want to interview pre-meds anyway?!! I'm wondering if any of you have said this in an interview, and whether you got a similar reaction. I honestly think it's an innocuous and very reasonable thing to say.

I'm also wondering if any of you have gotten the same old question fired at you in various forms during the same interview? When they do that, does this mean you didn't answer their question well enough the first time? Or that they just want to hear more? Or that they're senile?!!
Um, me for one (I'd love to interview pre-meds and serve on an adcom! It's a cool thing if you think about it, helping choose the colleagues that will enter your institution and work side-by-side with you. I do this at the dorm I'm in when we pick membership, there's an application process and we try to pick people we envision as our neighbors and friends.)

Anyway, I can't even remember having encountered this. I've had a grand total of 3 interviews, which I'm pretty happy with (^^) but from these three I haven't been asked "why medicine" in a persistent manner. Although, for the most part a lot of my answers had elements of why I wanted to enter medicine woven in (e.g. favorite class --> solving problems and characterizing biological systems --> understanding disease states --> helping people --> medicine --> solving problems)

etc.
 

funshine

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Wahina said:
Please tell me you didn't say money, cash, hoes...
You know, I think that's what ran through his mind which is why he narrowed his eyes. But I quickly explained that I had chosen medicine in favor of other "less practical" careers like music because I grew up in a musical family and saw the reality behind the glittering facade of being a performer. Of course, the children of physicians wil also say the same thing about medicine. I didn't express myself very well though, b/c I was so nervous. I think he got my point and agreed that "lots of people come back to medicine after having tried out other careers." But I felt like my interview was ruined after that.
 

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Practical reasons...money, cash, hoes..hahahaha....sorry.
 

funshine

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crazy_cavalier said:
Although, for the most part a lot of my answers had elements of why I wanted to enter medicine woven in (e.g. favorite class --> solving problems and characterizing biological systems --> understanding disease states --> helping people --> medicine --> solving problems)

etc.
That's almost exactly what I say...and for the most part, my interviews have been hppy w/ it. I've had two interviews where the person kept repeating this question though. I had no choice but to think they were suspicious that I wasn't being sincere. Another question I get repeated all the time is "What unique qualities will you bring this this school?" This is probably my least favorite question. What do they mean? Personality traits? Interesting hobbies that I've done? What I'm going to do at their school during my four years there?? Either way, you can't answer the question without shamelessly bragging :thumbdown:
 

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funshine said:
Another question I get repeated all the time is "What unique qualities will you bring this this school?" This is probably my least favorite question. What do they mean? Personality traits? Interesting hobbies that I've done? What I'm going to do at their school during my four years there?? Either way, you can't answer the question without shamelessly bragging :thumbdown:
Um, I would be tempted to say, "I can wiggle my eyes..." and then lean over and wiggle them. Honestly though, I can. Wiggle my eyes, that is. You do it during REM sleep. Well, I can REM while awake. It's hard to explain how it's done, it's like trying to explain how you tell your finger to curl up...

:scared: <-- wiggling eyes.

Yeah that is a tough question. I would take the hobby slant, though. I enjoy origami, so I might say that's one of the unique things about me. I could then proceed to make a bird or flower or basket or something, and possibly teach my interviewer how to make it as well.
 

funshine

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crazy_cavalier said:
Um, I would be tempted to say, "I can wiggle my eyes..." and then lean over and wiggle them. Honestly though, I can. Wiggle my eyes, that is. You do it during REM sleep. Well, I can REM while awake. It's hard to explain how it's done, it's like trying to explain how you tell your finger to curl up...

:scared: <-- wiggling eyes.

Yeah that is a tough question. I would take the hobby slant, though. I enjoy origami, so I might say that's one of the unique things about me. I could then proceed to make a bird or flower or basket or something, and possibly teach my interviewer how to make it as well.
:) do you like anime too? what's your avatar from?
unfortunately, all my skills and traits are possessed by every other premed in spades. I still list them though, just not with a lot of enthusiasm. That's probably my problem. Gosh, I need to take acting classes!
 

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MiesVanDerMom said:
I can wiggle my eyes too. And I'm double jointed.
eye wiggle, double-jointed, plus I can pull my lower lip down to my chin and make it stick.
 

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Gavanshir said:
Practical reasons...money, cash, hoes..hahahaha....sorry.
Best response
 

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funshine said:
During a student interview, I kept getting variants of the "Why medicine" question over and over...I had already used up my typical premed answers, and so I said, very matter-of-factly, "Well, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you there were also practical reasons for going into medicine.” Stupid move. STUPID [email protected]!!!!!!!!!! He narrowed his eyes, asked me to elaborate, and I spent the rest of the miserable interview trying to explain what I meant. I think I did OK, but his total change in demeanor makes me fear the worst. I think b/c he was a student, I expected him to undertand, but he clearly did not. I should've suspected as much. After all, what kind of medical student would want to interview pre-meds anyway?!! I'm wondering if any of you have said this in an interview, and whether you got a similar reaction. I honestly think it should be an innocuous and very reasonable thing to say. Why does our society place so much value on "professionalism" at the expense of other traits like honesty?

I'm also wondering if any of you have gotten the same old question fired at you in various forms during the same interview? When they do that, does this mean you didn't answer their question well enough the first time? Or that they just want to hear more? Or that they're senile?


wow, im really sorry to hear you got busted for thoughtcrime. i dont think it was a stupid move, i think it was a stupid interviewer. but i know what you mean about the type of student, and the type of person, who would serve on an adcom. ive thought a lot about that and tried to act accordingly. its too bad theyre the gatekeepers.

i also have had it asked more than once in the same interview--its really annoying and ive had to keep rehashing it in increasingly creative ways. i too would eventually turn to practical reasons and start to name them out--prestige, high and steady income, security. and dammet, because you can and not everyone can say that, isnt that reason enough? i dont see why its so key to them as long as you assure them youll do a good job of it. i dont know if other professional schools are so persistent about it or even broach it at all.

but thats really too bad. forget it dude, if things dont turn out well then why bother going there anyway if students are like that, and if the school culture is like that :thumbdown: medicines a career, otherwise everyone would work for room, board, and food only but i dont see that happening
 
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"why medicine" questions must always be followed by an answer akin to one's personal statement. stick to your guns and you'll never lose.
 

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Eh, I brought up job security, being able to support a family, and reasonable income in my interview still got in. Bad interviewer, he/she shouldn't have biased the decision with prejudices even if he didn't agree with you about your view. Hopefully he won't rate you poorly.
 

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If I were on an admissions committee, I would instead use the interview to try to gauge a person's character. Bring up ethical and philosophical questions. Really try to probe to see if it's a slick standard pre-med or someone with compassion. These canned questions of "why medicine?" and "what are your strengths?" aren't very informative.

Unfortunately, I've seen some people on interviews who reek of pretension and arrogance, and it just makes me want to pull out their file in front of their eyes and slam a big fat red "Rejected" on it.
 

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Shredder said:


wow, im really sorry to hear you got busted for thoughtcrime. i dont think it was a stupid move, i think it was a stupid interviewer. but i know what you mean about the type of student, and the type of person, who would serve on an adcom. ive thought a lot about that and tried to act accordingly. its too bad theyre the gatekeepers.

i also have had it asked more than once in the same interview--its really annoying and ive had to keep rehashing it in increasingly creative ways. i too would eventually turn to practical reasons and start to name them out--prestige, high and steady income, security. and dammet, because you can and not everyone can say that, isnt that reason enough? i dont see why its so key to them as long as you assure them youll do a good job of it. i dont know if other professional schools are so persistent about it or even broach it at all.
:laugh: glad to know I'm not the only one. A lot of other interviewers have been totally cool about this. In fact, one of them--a neurosurgeon--explained to me how there are 5 primary motivations for going into medicine: altruism, stability, money, prestige, power...and how he was in it for the latter 3. I appreciated his honesty. Another interviewer explained he had probably gone into medicine because his mom sent him subliminal messages every night. True, they're not in the position of being judged, so they can say whatever they want.

Shredder said:
if things dont turn out well then why bother going there anyway if students are like that, and if the school culture is like that
That's the thing. I wonder how much you can tell about the school's culture from one bad interview? Although there were other warning signs I got throughout the day. Subconsciously, I've been using the Dean/Director of Admissions' speech to gauge whether I'll like the school or not. I'm finding that I prefer when NO speech is given :)
 

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rocketman said:
eye wiggle, double-jointed, plus I can pull my lower lip down to my chin and make it stick.
I can move my eyes independently...y'know in two different directions
 

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yourmom25 said:
"why medicine" questions must always be followed by an answer akin to one's personal statement. stick to your guns and you'll never lose.
You are very right. However, there are some weak points in my personal statement (because I really do try to stay honest) and a discriminating eye will see that I do have reservations about going into medicine. I don't know if my interviewer got all that, but his questions really threw me off guard b/c no one had asked about that part of my PS yet.
 

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seilienne said:
Shredder, will you marry me?! :laugh:
dystopian readers/thinkers unite. im amazed at how accurate some authors were in their predictions, rand/orwell especially

funshine im rooting for you. honesty should win the day. unfortunately its not the best policy, sigh
 

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Shredder said:
dystopian readers/thinkers unite. im amazed at how accurate some authors were in their predictions, rand/orwell especially
Have you noticed how the airplanes are not running on time at all anymore? Sounds a little familiar to me. . .

I gotta say, if they EVER institute a government-regulated flat salary for MDs, or mandate that I take on certain percentage of cases pro bono, or hell, even overregulate a little too much or anything along those lines. . .

I'm becoming a diner waitress. ;)

disclaimer: I'm not saying pro-bono is bad, and if I go into private practice I most likely will choose to do a certain amount. The key word is CHOOSE.
 

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seilienne said:
Have you noticed how the airplanes are not running on time at all anymore? Sounds a little familiar to me. . .

I gotta say, if they EVER institute a government-regulated flat salary for MDs, or mandate that I take on certain percentage of cases pro bono, or hell, even overregulate a little too much or anything along those lines. . .

I'm becoming a diner waitress. ;)

disclaimer: I'm not saying pro-bono is bad, and if I go into private practice I most likely will choose to do a certain amount. The key word is CHOOSE.
amtrak and the postal service are good examples of inefficiency. also any form of public transportation--USPS isnt too bad actually but the lines are long and the service is poor. im all for mass transit but the public sector can never get a good job done. i was in philly recently and the transit authority was on strike--pesky labor unions

as long as the capitalist spirit stays strong in the usa things will be ok for docs, but now and then i smell danger. "unfair profits for greedy oil execs"? we could always cap prices and have lines like in the 70s. next up, unfair profits for greedy docs :scared:

pro bono ECs have become all but mandatory for premeds it seems. for ER docs i think many of them essentially do frequent pro bono work, whether or not they want to. then the ERs close down.
 
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kaffy said:
I can move my eyes independently...y'know in two different directions
Kaffy, I acan do this too!

Also, I can stick my fist in my mouth up to my wrist.
 

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As dystopia writers, they make my day. As much as I hate their view of the future, it always seems that the more and more we advance in society we tend to get closer and closer to their predictions. Its been a while since I've read any Rand, so maybe I better catch up...the last one i read had something to do with a robot who ran off into the woods to try and be free. I can't remember the title of it

gdbaby said:
Also, I can stick my fist in my mouth up to my wrist.
As for that gdbaby....thats creepy. :laugh: :laugh:
 

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gdbaby said:
Kaffy, I acan do this too!

Also, I can stick my fist in my mouth up to my wrist.
Do you dislocate your jaw for a moment while you do it? I've seen other people who do it with different items and they can actually unhinge the joint for a bit...scary!

As for me, I have no special bodily tricks :(
 

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rocketman said:
eye wiggle, double-jointed, plus I can pull my lower lip down to my chin and make it stick.
Wow, all these eye wigglers. I just saw someone do that for the first time a couple weeks ago. Bizarre (and cool).
 

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gdbaby said:
Kaffy, I acan do this too!

Also, I can stick my fist in my mouth up to my wrist.
Heh, heh... that's cool....um, please tell me you're kidding...or provide photographic evidence. :D
 

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Turkeyman said:
As for me, I have no special bodily tricks :(
Except for the flying off of the walls and backflips and sort.... :D :D

damn you Turkeyman....damn you
 

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"unfair profits for greedy oil execs"? we could always cap prices and have lines like in the 70s.
I live in Houston, and had a front seat view of how dramatically the price of gas influenced the demand pre-hurricane: zero. Prices shot up $1 a gallon and every gas station that still had gas was mobbed. I got in early (three days before Rita hit) and still waited 45 minutes to get to a pump. People were cutting in line and getting verbally assaulted. I thought the guy two cars in front of me was going to shoot some people (it is Texas, after all).

The price of gas was over $3 a gallon but it might as well have been $5, $7 or $10. People would call the radio stations to report any place that had gas. Within minutes those locales would be descended upon by vultures desperate for a few gallons of pretty much anything.

I have no problem with the oil companies making a profit, but anyone who denies they were price gouging is blind, and possibly an idiot. They collectively netted $32.8 billion during this last quarter, which works out to about $110 for every man, woman and child in the country. As consumers we should all be pretty pissed off.
 

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His avatar is from Naruto. It's pretty popular atm..I think there's been something like 50 million manga sold and the anime in Japan is in the top-10 animes.




funshine said:
:) do you like anime too? what's your avatar from?
unfortunately, all my skills and traits are possessed by every other premed in spades. I still list them though, just not with a lot of enthusiasm. That's probably my problem. Gosh, I need to take acting classes!
 

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Havarti666 said:
I

I have no problem with the oil companies making a profit, but anyone who denies they were price gouging is blind, and possibly an idiot.

agreed :thumbup:
 

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Havarti666 said:
I live in Houston, and had a front seat view of how dramatically the price of gas influenced the demand pre-hurricane: zero. Prices shot up $1 a gallon and every gas station that still had gas was mobbed. I got in early (three days before Rita hit) and still waited 45 minutes to get to a pump. People were cutting in line and getting verbally assaulted. I thought the guy two cars in front of me was going to shoot some people (it is Texas, after all).

The price of gas was over $3 a gallon but it might as well have been $5, $7 or $10. People would call the radio stations to report any place that had gas. Within minutes those locales would be descended upon by vultures desperate for a few gallons of pretty much anything.

I have no problem with the oil companies making a profit, but anyone who denies they were price gouging is blind, and possibly an idiot. They collectively netted $32.8 billion during this last quarter, which works out to about $110 for every man, woman and child in the country. As consumers we should all be pretty pissed off.
the oil companies are free to choose whatever prices and decisions they want. its not our duty as consumers to prosecute the hell out of them--we should punish them with our spending dollars, not with courts or legislators. they could just as soon close up shop and leave us all stranded, without cars, running water, or AC/heating. it would be different if they had coercive monopoly powers or engaged in collusion, or predatory pricing. but they dont do any of those, as far as i know. only the fallacy of "price gouging", in other words, clearing the market.

as evidenced by the lines, they should have been free to charge even more. then the fighting and crowds would have vanished. identical to the 70s--your words support my argument entirely. $1 increase/gallon is nothing, considering gas prices in other countries, which are routinely over $5/gallon.

i really dont understand what youre advocating--they should have charged less? or that prices dont affect demand? i guarantee you if you charge enough for gas, the mobs will find other ways to get to where they need to go. and my hometown is houston--i know how important driving is but that doesnt matter. consumers are sensitive to prices. its better to have gas available at $10/gallon than to not have it available at $3/gallon--or do you disagree? as consumers we should be pissed off that the govt doesnt allow free pricing, resulting in the chaos you described
 
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BaylorGuy said:
As dystopia writers, they make my day. As much as I hate their view of the future, it always seems that the more and more we advance in society we tend to get closer and closer to their predictions. Its been a while since I've read any Rand, so maybe I better catch up...the last one i read had something to do with a robot who ran off into the woods to try and be free. I can't remember the title of it
ha...if its the same book, i think it was a man, but his name was like Equality-130C, so its easy to mistake him for a robot. but that contributes to the meaning of the book, the stripping of egoism and inviduality, right down to the uniqueness of ones name. its Anthem btw, really short, basically abridged version of fountainhead

of course anyone hates their views of the future. but its that hatred that generates passion to avoid it
 

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Shredder said:
the oil companies are free to choose whatever prices and decisions they want. its not our duty as consumers to prosecute the hell out of them--we should punish them with our spending dollars, not with courts or legislators. they could just as soon close up shop and leave us all stranded, without cars, running water, or AC/heating. it would be different if they had coercive monopoly powers or engaged in collusion, or predatory pricing. but they dont do any of those, as far as i know. only the fallacy of "price gouging", in other words, clearing the market.
I'm aware that corporations can do no wrong in your eyes, but I was not supporting price controls or anything of that ilk. My problem with what happened falls purely into the category of "don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining." If the oil company executives had stood before the Senate and said "we increased prices 50% prior to hurricane Rita because we had a captive group of consumers, millions of them, who were prepared to pay any amount in order to leave the storm's path" then I wouldn't be bothering posting my thoughts.

What really happened, in my opinion, is that they did just that, and now they're trying to hide behind the arguments in favor of price gouging. Like I said, it's not raining on my leg, so please don't stiff me at the pump and then tell me it was for my own good.

Shredder said:
as evidenced by the lines, they should have been free to charge even more. then the fighting and crowds would have vanished. identical to the 70s--your words support my argument entirely. $1 increase/gallon is nothing, considering gas prices in other countries, which are routinely over $5/gallon.
Please don't tell me what I experienced from the remote comfort of Austin. If anything, I feel that the price increases fed the hysteria even more, as people became more frenzied and desperate by the hour. "Oh, prices are skyrocketing, $3 a gallon is just the beginning, there's hardly any gas in the entirety of SE Texas, if we don't find some now and get out of town pronto we're all going to die." Ever see The Road Warrior? Yeah, it was reminiscent of that, only without any gyrocopters or boomerangs.

Shredder said:
i really dont understand what youre advocating--they should have charged less? or that prices dont affect demand? i guarantee you if you charge enough for gas, the mobs will find other ways to get to where they need to go. and my hometown is houston--i know how important driving is but that doesnt matter. consumers are sensitive to prices. its better to have gas available at $10/gallon than to not have it available at $3/gallon--or do you disagree? as consumers we should be pissed off that the govt doesnt allow free pricing, resulting in the chaos you described
Take a deep breath, man. All I'm advocating is a little honesty.
 

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Shredder said:
as evidenced by the lines, they should have been free to charge even more. then the fighting and crowds would have vanished. identical to the 70s--your words support my argument entirely. $1 increase/gallon is nothing, considering gas prices in other countries, which are routinely over $5/gallon.
You're right, and if their goal was really to reduce the chaos by attenuating demand, they failed miserably. Had they succeeded [and forced more people to stay in the path of a (then) Category 5 hurricane] perhaps they would not have cleared $32.8 billion. Like I said, they saw an opening and gut-punched the consumer, and in some way you see this as a victory for capitalism. The only reason I can think of why they didn't increase prices more is because they might have *actually* decreased demand, and thus lost some of their profits.
 

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Havarti666 said:
You're right, and if their goal was really to reduce the chaos by attenuating demand, they failed miserably. Had they succeeded [and forced more people to stay in the path of a (then) Category 5 hurricane] perhaps they would not have cleared $32.8 billion. Like I said, they saw an opening and gut-punched the consumer, and in some way you see this as a victory for capitalism. The only reason I can think of why they didn't increase prices more is because they might have *actually* decreased demand, and thus lost some of their profits.
i dont comprehend your analysis of the situation. there were more ppl willing to pay for gas than the amount of gas that was able to be provided. so some ppl ended up without gas even though they would have been willing to pay more to get it. others got gas bc they were willing to deal with rowdy crowds or wait in endless lines. long lines are the hallmark of socialism--they should never happen in totally free markets. nobody gut punched anybody. if oil companies decided to give away gas for free, its unlikely you would have gotten any. on the other hand if they were allowed to hike prices to $10/gallon, and if you were willing to pay that much, you wouldnt have had to fight crowds. its not a matter of who is profiting too much. maximizing profits is the name of the game in business, and it works out better for everyone. if oil companies had hiked up prices and decreased demand, the higher prices would have made up for the lower demand. as it currently stands, the prices were too low, and there were probably tons of people stranded without gas who could have potentially been consumers. its called a deadweight loss and its bad economics. distributing goods and services doesnt work on a first come first serve basis--it works on a price basis

im not huffing and puffing, just baffled about what it is youre saying. anti profit mentalities never work out logically bc they defy the fundamentals of capitalism that built this country. i see this as a failure of government to allow capitalism to run its course, as with any "price gouging" incidents. absent government interference, businesses will price their products at whatever is the profit maximizing price

the oil companies deserved to earn billions of dollars, bc it was them who provided what ppl needed in a time of crisis. uncle sam didnt step in--in fact he only butts in and screws things up. the govt has no incentive to help you or anyone, "greedy businessmen" do--profits. this isnt about honesty its about econ 101. in short, due to some silly price gouging legislation thats in place, im sure oil companies lost potential profits due to their inability to hike prices. if you have enough gas to feed 1000 customers, and you have 1000 customers, will you earn more profit at $3/gallon or $10/gallon? in actuality there is a surplus of customers at $3 gallon (as you saw in the lines), so 4000 other ppl get screwed with no gas and contribute $0 profit to the companies. compared to exactly 1000 customers at $10/gallon, where no one gets screwed bc the gas is more than theyre willing to pay anyway. i shouldnt have to elucidate this, its very basic
 

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Shredder said:
i dont comprehend your analysis of the situation.
I feel like we got ripped off due to greed. Do you comprehend that?
 

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Shredder said:
i shouldnt have to elucidate this, its very basic
You don't have to, but thanks for all the yammering. I just wanted to step in and state my opinion that the oil industry's defense of their massive profits after these recent times of crisis does not, in my book, hold water. That's it. That's all. No more and no less. No Econ 101 lecture needed, my friend, either you hear me or you don't.
 

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I do not favor price controls, but I also do not favor the government stacking the deck against solutions to this problem. There is no reason why we can't have a federal standard mandating 30 mpg for vehicles. We also should tax gas and use the revenue to fund research into alternative fuels. I am also curious to see how much tax the oil companies paid on their recent windfall.
 

Shredder

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Havarti666 said:
I feel like we got ripped off due to greed. Do you comprehend that?
its ok, youve made it clear by now that you cant understand. no reason to bother anymore
 

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Shredder said:
its ok, youve made it clear by now that you cant understand. no reason to bother anymore
You're correct, I cannot fathom the depth of your apologetics. Have a nice evening.
 
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