More Than Seven Questions on My Mind

By Lloyd Graff

These are a few questions on my mind. I think you get smarter by asking questions, not showing off how much you know.

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1) Does CBD oil work for you? I have experimented with it after friends told me it worked wonders for them. Here’s what I have found. It helps with the arthritic pain in my thumb and index finger of my left hand. It isn’t miraculous, but it is useful. My sore knees and shoulder don’t seem to improve from it.

How do you use it?

Do you have a brand that is superior, or is it all the same brown, smelly stuff?

2) If you have some money to invest and you have no taste for hoarding cash, gold, or collectibles, where do you put it? Would you go into business with a CNC mill or lathe?

Let’s say you are 40 years old and plan to work 25 more years. Would you look for real estate, perhaps a fixer-upper? Would you buy as much house as you can afford and hope for appreciation while you enjoy living in it? 

Would you consider the stock market? If you have a taste for equities, would you buy tiny amounts of high-priced stocks like Amazon and Google, or buy a low priced stock, hoping it will become the next Apple or Costco? 

Would you look for an advisor who, for a fee, invests for you and others? Would you put it in a fund like Fidelity or Vanguard that spreads it out over a huge number of stocks, figuring it is impossible for an individual to beat the averages over time.

3) Is Bitcoin a gigantic fraud or the next big thing? Right now it is on a huge roll. Cryptocurrencies have achieved credibility, but maybe it is a huge Ponzi scheme. It is still difficult to use Bitcoin to buy much, but smart guys like Elon Musk think it is real money.

4) Is the electric vehicle really going to take over the bulk of the transportation industry over the next 10 years or is it way overhyped? Tesla is the only manufacturer to get any traction, and many believe that its growth is primarily because of government subsidies and the flamboyance of Elon Musk.

Ford, GM, Volkswagen, and BMW all proclaim they are going all-electric. Do you believe them? Are you planning on buying an electric vehicle over the next few years? Do you really think electric vehicles will save the world’s environment?

5) This brings up my next question. Do you believe climate change is an existential threat to you personally? To America? To the world? I have my doubts, but I’m over 70, so nobody really cares. Do you think about climate change every day and do your small part to limit it?

6) Is saving the environment today’s religion? Has it replaced Christianity, Islam, and Judaism as the true religion of the day for many young people?

7) I will end with a big one. Are you a racist? Many African Americans say that if you are not black and have been brought up in America, you are racist by definition. I think there may well be some truth to this claim, not because every non-black person raised here is full of hatred, but because our society has taught us to think and behave that way. Do you agree?

These are not easy questions, but hopefully they will make you think. Maybe even write a comment.

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8 thoughts on “More Than Seven Questions on My Mind

  1. Jeff Smith

    I really can’t believe you said that!!
    “Are you a racist? Many African Americans say that if you are not black and have been
    brought up in America, you are racist by definition. I think there may well be some
    truth to this claim, not because every non-black person raised here is full of hatred,
    but because our society has taught us to think and behave that way. Do you agree?”
    That, by definition, is a racist statement! To say something is true of a whole class of people based on their skin color, which is something they can’t change, is totally racist. AND IT IS NOT TRUE! People are people, created in the Image of God, and they all are different. Some may be racists, but it has nothing to do with their skin color. It has to do with their inherently sinful and fallen condition. Not all whites are racists. Period.

     
  2. mark Stevens

    I bought an electric (cordless) lawn mover last weekend. My neighbor was looking at it, trying to figure out why it was so quiet. I told him it is coal powered. (in my area, electricity comes from coal-50% natural gas and nuclear primarily. less than 1% solar. Electric cars are not going to save the environment. (natural gas might though)

     
  3. Steve+Krom

    How to invest is the question. My wife joined an investment club 30 years ago that was under the umbrella of Better Investing. The tools she gained proved to be very helpful now that we are in retirement. There is no crystal ball an investment advisor has to help pick winners over losers. Join an investment club and learn how to do it yourself, it is like teaching a man to fish. Her philosophy is to buy good stocks or funds when they go on sale. Earnings are the key. If there are no earnings don’t buy them. We don’t have Tesla stock or Bitcoin, altho one of our sons have both.

     
  4. Bill Badura

    Lloyd at his provocative best

    1) Never tried it. My wife loves it, though.
    2&3) No advisor. Always looking for long term value.
    While I have no interest in Bitcoin, the possibilities for Block-chain are unlimited.
    I believe there is unrealized value there.
    4) Maybe. Tesla seems to build pretty nice cars, which should be worth something.
    5) No. No. No. If the actuaries at insurance companies aren’t very concerned, should I second-guess them. I try to buy local if possible.
    6) Don’t know about religion, but it seems virtue-signaling is the new national past-time.
    7) I heard Mrs. Obama say a while back that, when white people see her, they think one of two things. I guess racism has spread to other races, too. Made me feel kind of naked to know that someone can read my mind based on my race.

     
  5. Misterchipster

    #1 Don’t know, never tried it. Based on the advertising I’ve read in passing I would say it’s the next “cure all” fad. Maybe some benefit but it varies with the individual and their believe in it’s curative powers.
    #2 I believe I would diversify, everything crashes sooner or later. If I were to put all my eggs in one basket I would certainly WATCH THAT BASKET!
    #3 The only value any exchange medium (read that currency) has is what the masses believe it has. Bitcoin is no different. It may be today’s darling and it may be tomorrow’s standard, I believe the former more than the latter. I don’t believe it will quickly overtake our current currency.
    #4 Electric is only as good as our ability to effectively generate, store and transport it. Efficient storage will open up a whole new world in many areas, not just transportation, we are quite a ways from that. The political winds are currently blowing that direction. The bulk of our electric is still produced by carbon emissions. Electric vehicles allow us to delegate our “carbon responsibilities” to someone else to do the dirty work. Electric would work for me 90% of the time but it doesn’t make economic sense for me to have 2 vehicles to cover one need. Hybrid fuel/electric would make more sense for me.
    #5 Climate change is inevitable, how we can make broad claims about our influence on our climate with 150 years of accurate data, is beyond me. Yes, we need to be good stewards of our planet we have good reason to believe it is 4000+ years old and we are only kidding ourselves if we have enough info to predict the future. Our ego is way to big.
    #6 Without question, when a teenage snot can cowtow a responsible adult regarding the environment we need a major reset. Do I smell a bit of political stink in this, yep.
    #7 Nope, I believe that a person’s culture is important but their color isn’t.

     
  6. andy B

    Stocks in good companies are hard to beat. As for your last question, I don’t consider myself a racist but some would point out that just by saying that you are in fact guilty. Have I thought things or said some things in my life toward others in private at times that I probably should not have, yes, and I think that pretty much everyone else has too at some point in there life. Racism is not a one way street as some make it out to be. No matter what someone wants to say about me for admitting that, I know that I’m fair to whomever I meet and if someone needs a hand I give it, no matter what they look like.

     
  7. Jim Hanna

    1) No opinion. I’ve never used any pot derivatives.
    2) I don’t own any stock outright, but I do own stock through a variety of mutual funds. I work with three different fund advisors, all people I know well and trust. My investments are very diverse, including annuities, stock funds of various degrees of performance and risk, bond funds (also widely diversified), and some municipal bonds. My objective at this point in my life (age 73) is less maximizing growth than preserving value, though my mix has provided decent growth. I don’t micromanage my investments. I meet with the advisors once or twice a year to weed out any poor performers and replace them with better choices. I would never consider a house to be a significant part of my portfolio. It is a necessity and may grow in value, but I don’t see it as a good way to make money by overbuying.
    3) I agree with Mr. Badura on Bitcoin. Blockchain technology is a very good thing. Bitcoin value fluctuates radically. There is nothing of significance behind it. It is an incredibly risky bet.
    4) It will take much longer than 10 years for electric vehicles to “take over”, but during the next 10 years I think we will see many more EVs on the road and maybe even in the air. In addition to improved air quality EVs will require significantly less maintenance and will have longer useful lives.
    5) I live almost dead center in the continental U.S. in farm country. Over the last 10 years we have seen weather more extreme than any time in recorded history, including drought much worse than the 1930s. Thanks to irrigation and better soil management practices it was not the disaster it was back then, but it did affect crop production. We experienced three “100 year” floods on the Missouri River in those 10 years! Farmers are having to adjust to different crops all across the country as the growing season length changes. The science is very clear that the world is heating and that humans are causing most of it. I do try to do my part to limit my carbon footprint, but it is hard to do as an individual.
    6) I’d say that God has given us a marvelous world to live on and granted us the intelligence to manage it and to care for it if we choose to do so. Early in Genesis we were admonished to exert wise stewardship over God’s creation, so perhaps the environmental movement is doing exactly what Judaism and Christianity calls us to do.
    7) Racism is deeply embedded in our culture, more so in some places and in some people than in others. However, I see hope, as things are not nearly as blatant as the were in my early years. We made a lot of progress in the late 1960s and early 1970s in ridding ourselves of institutional racism, but it takes time for those changes to get purged from our behavior. Recent events may be bringing about another inflection point that will let us make progress, but as with all such times there will be turmoil for a while.

     
  8. Lloyd+Graff

    These are the kind of thoughtful answers I was hoping for. You are make me think and feel. Thank you so much. Lloyd

     

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