Monday, February 27, 2017

Dueling Headlines

For you folks who aren't familiar with Governor LePage he's a businessman, not a career professional politician and he's known for his political incorrectness. Remind you of someone else you've heard of?
P.S. These are actual news headlines...

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Save 90% On Your Auto Insurance

I’m not kidding. In the near future you could be paying 90% less for car insurance. Here’s how.

Have you ever gone into Best Buy and bought an electronic device such as a computer or smartphone and purchased insurance in case you drop it and break it? Now you’re saying, “Yea, but what does electronic device insurance have to do with auto insurance?” In just a few years our streets, roads and highways will be filled with four-wheel electronic devices. That’s right, cars powered by a battery that you will plug in a night so you can use it the next day. They will also have an array of cameras and sensors controlled by powerful computer chips allowing you to take your hands off the wheel and sit back and relax. Self-driving autonomous electric vehicles. Sounds like electronic devices to me.

As pictured above, Tesla has been manufacturing and selling all-electric vehicles for several years now with self-driving capabilities. Their cars are high end luxury vehicles that have been sold worldwide and Tesla has been offering car insurance in select markets which is customized to match the performance of its self-driving “Autopilot” technology. Tesla’s first generation Autopilot has resulted in a 40% crash rate reduction. Thus, they are selling their own insurance at a 40% discount over traditional auto insurance rates.

Starting July 1 Tesla will begin production of the Model 3. It will be an all-electric mid-size sedan starting at $35,000 with self-driving capabilities as an option. However, it has been announced that the Autopilot technology on the Model 3 will be Tesla’s ‘second generation’ Autopilot which will reduce crash rates by 90%. Company officials have hinted that if a 90% crash rate reduction is achieved, it will offer Tesla Model 3 buyers insurance that would be priced 90% below conventional auto insurance rates. Wow!

Wouldn’t you like to pay 90% less for auto insurance? Here’s some real world dollar savings. The national average annual premium for car insurance is $1325. If everyone drove a Tesla the national average annual premium would be $132.50. That’s only about $30 more than if you bought just one cup of Starbucks coffee a week for a year. Michigan has the highest car insurance rates in the nation. If you owned a Tesla Model 3 in Michigan, you’d pay $273.80 for car insurance. Maine has the lowest car insurance rates in the nation. If you owned a Tesla Model 3 in Maine, you’d pay $80.80 for car insurance.

Here’s something else to think about. Electricity for an all-electric vehicle costs about 40% less mile-for-mile than gasoline for a conventional gas powered vehicle. I don’t think I’m going to be able to afford NOT to own a Tesla Model 3. 

Beware Of Labels

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Perfect Storm

Perhaps President Trump’s biggest promise for “Making America Great Again” is putting millions of Americans back to work again. Hopefully he sees the storm that's brewing.

In 1962 life expectancy was 70 years. That meant when you retired at 65 the government expected you to draw your Social Security checks for five years and that was it. You were dead and done. Today, according to a recent study on life expectancy published in The Lancet medical journal, by 2030 life expectancy will be nearing 90 years due to higher quality health care and advancements in medical technologies. By 2030 most people will start drawing their Social Security checks at age 67 unless Congress increases the retirement age again. If they don’t that means the government will have to send out Social Security checks for not just five years, but for 23 years. Currently, more and more people are working beyond retirement age. Seems to me there’s going to be a lot of working age Americans waiting a lot of years for a lot of jobs that a lot of retirement age Americans are not going to be giving up. Looks like there’s a storm brewing.

In 1962 Sam Walton opened his first Walmart store in Rodges, Arkansas. Back then every small town in America had a Main Street bustling with people and store fronts brimming with products. Since then Main Street has had most of its storefronts boarded up and the people have disappeared to the aisles of Walmart just outside of almost every small town in the country. Today, Walmart is the largest employer in America, employing 1.5 million people. That’s a staggering 1% of the entire U.S. workforce. Imagine how many people would be out of work if someone came along and put Walmart out of business, along with Sears and Kmart and Macy’s and Home Depot and Costco and Lowe’s and etc. Here comes Amazon.

It is estimated that Amazon can sell and deliver the same amount of merchandise as the above mentioned retailers utilizing one tenth the manpower. They do this by utilizing 50,000 robots in their distribution warehouses that work 24 hours a day with no pay and no benefits. Are you an Amazon Prime member that guarantees you free shipping to your door in two days? No wonder Amazon is eating Walmart’s lunch along with the rest of the retailers mentioned above. I don’t think all those millions of retirees in 2030 will be working at Walmart or any other big box store. Sounds like there’s a storm brewing.

In 1962 very few cars had seat belts installed, very few had air conditioning, and the only thing remotely electronic was an AM radio as an option. Today we are on the verge of self-driving autonomous driving vehicles. Kevin Ashton, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, predicts we will all own self-driving cars by 2030. Just imagine. We won’t need any more drivers. No more truck drivers. No more taxi drivers. No more bus drivers. And because there will be no more accidents we won’t need as many police, as many EMT, as many body shops, as many insurance agents. That’s an awful lot of jobs that’s going to just plain disappear. Sounds like there’s a storm brewing.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Who Is And Who Ain't

The Chunks Are Getting Bigger

President Obama, in an interview with Bill Maher before the election last November, said that “if I watched Fox News, I wouldn’t vote for me either.” After the election he explained why he thought the Democrats lost the election to Donald Trump. He said, “In this election, working-class white voters turned out in huge numbers for Trump. And a big reason is Fox News is in every bar and restaurant in ‘big chunks’ of the country.” Well, I hate to say it, but (not really, I love to say it)...the ‘big chunks’ are getting bigger.

According to the latest Nielsen ratings announcement, Fox News has done something no other cable news network has come close to accomplishing. They are celebrating 15 years in a row as the most watch cable news network. And here’s the kicker. In January Fox News averaged 2.8 million viewers, up 35 percent from the previous year. In addition, they had 14 of the top 15 in cable news in total viewers and 8 out of 10 top programs for the 25-54 demographic. Like I said, the ‘big chunks’ are getting bigger.

And if this trend of 35 percent increase in viewership continues, especially in the 25-54 demographic, it won’t be too long before these big chunks will be showing up in places like New York and California. I’ll guarantee you this, the movers and shakers in the Democrat Party are much more worried about ‘bigger chunks’ than the are about Donald J. Trump.