Vanessa decided she was going to get a Netflix membership, so that’s what I’ve been doing over the last few days in between watching soccer (GO NETHERLANDS MY NEW FAVORITE TEAM) and pulling blog posts out of my ass. We’re doing that annoying couple thing where we watch Breaking Bad together. So no spoilers, dammit. I will chop your fingers off. That seems like an appropriate response, considering the show.
Anyway, I stumbled upon a documentary which has a pretty big problem with our capitalist system. It started out with the concept that money = debt, and kinda went crazier from there, fully culminating in a lengthy interview with some guy trying to create a system so abundant with resources that nobody would ever have to work again, since our basic needs would all be accounted for.
Oh yeah, it was delightful. Driverless cars that run on electricity are coming, as we all know. They reason why they’re not here yet is because the proverbial Man is holding things back. It’s the same thing with geothermal energy giving us enough energy to power and heat our houses, some network of underground trains ran by magnets which will replace airplanes, and the technology to make almost every job obsolete. Yes, apparently it’s car companies, big oil, the airlines, and the banks, respectively, which are conspiring to keep all of us from having these nice things, since a person who is forced to work is a person who can be controlled.
Of course, this is all bunk. The reason why driverless cars aren’t a thing yet is because the technology isn’t good enough. Do you really think Google would miss out on the potential profits if every car had its software in it? Geothermal energy hasn’t caught on because the technology isn’t quite there and because traditional forms of energy are still cheap. And so on for every other “objection” this movie came up with.
Look, capitalism isn’t perfect. The gap between the rich and the poor is a problem, albeit one I’d argue which is largely self-imposed. Corporations skirting the law is an issue too. But it’s the best system we have. Rather than focus on the negatives of the system, let’s focus on the positives. Perfection is an unobtainable goal. Worrying about it isn’t helping anybody.
Onto the links!
Another week, another plethora of links from my stuff over at Motley Fool. As Robin Thicke said, “I know you want it.” And then he was a man whore.
Remember how the Americans spent, like, 10 years in Iraq, and really can only list capping Saddam and getting the whole country pissed off at them as accomplishments? Well, fun story. This week it turns out a small army of rebels have basically taken a third of the country. Read about how this is a big deal for oil prices.
You know what’s a decently beat up value stock? Transalta. Go read some reasons why you should consider buying it. I’m not confident enough in it yet to make a real recommendation, but it looks interesting. Unless BIG GEOTHERMAL shows up and screws it over. It’s only a matter of time, apparently.
You people like REITs, right? Of course you do. Here are 3 that yield at least an oddly specific number. It was like I wrote the post and then came up with the title. Or something. GEEZ STOP HASSLING ME.
Here are some succulent dividends which either may be in danger or aren’t as good as they seem. Fun related fact: not exactly sure why dividend investors would ever get their dividends in shares. That kind of defeats the purpose, right?
And finally, here are some companies that are really cheap, at least from a price to book value perspective. The bad news? Most are resource companies that are suffering from low metal prices. There’s an oil company that looks really interesting though.
And that’s it. See you guys tomorrow for the dump.