Nancy Pelosi is going to be 80 years old in two weeks. Many of us don’t let our parents and grandparents drive a car at that age, let alone drive the direction of the US House of Representatives. 

During a press conference on Thursday, Nancy Pelosi was asked why Democrats aren’t voting for women in the presidential primary races. Pelosi who stutters a lot lately , said “ And I think that..the….the…um…Kamala…um… I mean, all of them”. Then she looks off to the side of the podium and says, “how many do we have? We have Kamala and Kelsey I mean, Tulsi. Tulsi, Kelsey’s my scheduler”.  She gives it one more shot,“ Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, um.”    

She’s not alone in being old and bumbling and serving in the House of Representatives, but she’s the speaker of the house. She’s the representative of all the representatives, and she can’t put a sentence together anymore. Does that mean she can put a coherent thought together or write good legislation? Oh yeah, Congress doesn’t write legislation anymore. They just criticized the president for doing things that aren’t constitutionally his job. 

Bernie Sanders is 78 years old. Joe Biden is 77 years old. The party of diversity has 2 old white men competing for the nomination and an older white woman leading the House of Representatives. Thankfully they have a young white man who is the Minority Leader in the Senate. 69-year-old Chuck Schumer. That was sarcasm of course.  

Healthcare Stocks

JNJ on its way to $85 Billion 

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When there are massive down moves like we’ve had over the last 3 weeks, people are always asking what kind of stocks they should buy to hold for a long period of time and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) comes to mind. Since 2015, JNJ’s compound annual growth rate was 4.1%, Which took their revenue from $70 billion to $82 billion in 2019. they’re expected to top $85 billion in 2020. 

Their pharmaceutical business is huge, and accounts for more than half of their revenues but so is their medical devices business and their consumer health care business. They’ve seen huge growth in immunology and oncology and they also pay a 2.6% dividend. That dividend yield, considering that 10-year US Treasury notes fell below .50% on Sunday night, seems like a cash windfall. JNJ’s dividend yield hasn’t been lower than 2.25% since 2015.

The stock itself has fallen over 6.4% in the last three weeks, and while it will probably fall more with the broader market, it’s the type of stock that looks like a bargain three years from now. 

 AI Will More Than Triple by 2026

The artificial intelligence market was pegged at about $14.6 billion in 2019. According to Polaris market research, it’s going to reach over $54 billion by 2026. That’s almost a 400% increase. 

The technology improvements in robots is happening rapidly, and they’re starting to be used a lot more. Especially as employees get more and more expensive, whether that’s through the scarcity of jobs, or pressure to increase minimum wage rates. All of this is leading toward a much larger artificial intelligence market. 

A lack of adequate skilled workforce is part of the problem. That’s causing companies to be forced to try and make their robots smarter. Normally the investment in these robots would not be worth it. But when workers are scarce, wages of existing workers continued to rise and eventually the cost of those workers becomes more than the cost of investing in artificial intelligence technology.

This is what many people don’t understand, that is simple economic logic. Raise the cost of an unskilled worker, and we make it worth it for companies to invest in artificial intelligence robots who don’t take time off and don’t need healthcare. Ignore education and training for people, and it becomes worth it for companies to invest in artificial intelligence technology, rather than hiring a worker who’s not competent and training him or her. The working public will unfortunately learn this the hard way. The rest of us should just be buying AI stocks.     

How Facebook Spies

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Electric cars are definitely coming. The sales of electric cars from Nissan, Tesla, Volkswagen, Ford, and Chevrolet continue to grow. New models coming from high-end manufacturers like Porsche and Audi are already here as well, and people are excited to own them.        

But there’s a problem, and it consists of where to charge these things up. Countries like the United States and the United Kingdom show an increase in demand for these cars, but the charging networks are not growing quick enough. Some people in the UK who own electric cars can’t find a charging station for more than 10 miles. There are private companies trying to solve this problem, but they can’t seem to get to it fast enough and the costs are overwhelming to start. Parking garages in urban areas have all added charging stations, but the number is limited, and the cost is prohibitive if you need to charge the car overnight because you would be responsible to pay the overnight parking bill. 

Some people who own electric cars have said things like, “I think we got it backwards by buying the car first”. If electric cars are going to become more than just a status symbol, this problem needs to be addressed. It could be a really good place for fiscal stimulus to be applied by governments who seem like they’re going to need it after the coronavirus slowdown is over. 

16 million on Lockdown in Italy Due to COVID-19

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Italy, which now has the second most cases of coronavirus after China, has decided to adopt part of China’s plan to control it. On Sunday the government unleashed a plan to restrict the movement of about 16,000,000 people which caused confusion about how to enforce such a quarantine. And if it can’t be enforced, how could it actually be effective in slowing down the virus?

The restricting of the movement of people who live in the North of Italy was the first time during this COVID-19 crisis, that a democracy has tried to radically force change in the daily life of its citizens. The measure was signed into law, punishable by three months in jail, but hours afterward, trains and planes continued to fly out filled with people headed for southern Italy or somewhere else in Europe. 

This is the biggest problem of the flow of people, the spread of the virus outside of Italy. The Czechoslovakian Prime Minister suggested that Italy’s government needed to do more to stop travel by its citizens for example, halting all movement across its border regardless of passport. In other words, EU passport or not, you can’t come in or out of Italy. This is obviously an imposition on Italian civil liberties, and it’s going to be interesting to see if they can enforce this or not. Generally, when you give a government that kind of power, they don’t give it back.