I only caught snatches of the Republican debate in Michigan, but I want to answer one of the questions myself. John Harwood asked John McCain about the record profits of Exxon, Conocco and Chevron. I can’t remember exactly what McCain said-he hemmed and hawed, though, about how some of this profit should go to support alternative fuels and in general made it sound as if the corporations had sinned in doing well.

May I be so bold as to suggest a better answer?

“That’s great news, isn’t it John? Unless, of course, you don’t think American companies should do well and make a profit for their shareholders. You don’t believe that-do you, John? Capitalism is supposed to help people enjoy a better standard of living, and since these are two of the most widely-held stocks in the U.S., we know that the benefit is spread widely.

“As for alternative fuels, I don’t need to stand here and sound sanctimonious. You can bet your bottom dollar that, when alternative fuels are promising, the oil giants will be in the vanguard of investing in them.

“That’s how capitalism works.

“Of course, there are those who want to haul companies before Congress to be investigated for doing just this. But I am not one of them. I want to see American corporations thrive, especially those that are widely held by ordinary citizens. Got a problem with that?”