I for one would like to thank marcus11 for spreading his backward, counter-business and well-thought out conspiracy theories.
No offense, but if your sites are in my niches (or everyone that wants to be believe in the tooth fairy cough ceiling) - thanks for the extra advertiser spends on my sites you're not getting by believing in your "ceiling" and not growing.
It's what netmeg said:
The controls at work are not to manage your earnings, but to manage the advertisers' spend. It is not the same thing.
So when you get giant spikes in traffic which blows through the advertisers' budgets just as fast (you have advertised online before right?) - where do you magically get more advertiser spend on your sites?
I mean, the ads are still showing right? Well, maybe your advertisers might dramatically lower their cpc because you're blowing their whole budget? Or maybe their spent for that hour/day/week/month now and have to wait - maybe from the guys/gals that spend only pennies per click? Which aren't (very well) targeted for your site anyway? Resulting in vastly lower cpc, ctr and/or both?
But wait! There's more!
Maybe you think Google should look at the history of your site, average out your ctr/epc and then (even though you blew through your advertisers' budgets with your spikez) pay you ANYWAY that average out of thin air? But then attribute those earnings for free to the adwords advertisers that have already paused/reduced all their campaigns! Yes, that makes far more sense.
It's great to ask a question and get an answer - but then to rebuttal over and over and over and over why we're all wrong... is just a waste of our time. It's just hard to not say something when you see juvenille proclamations like this. I'm done talking about this forever though. Believe in the easter bunny and continue being scared to be more successful.