Money as a Measure of Karma -- Part 2
Patrick is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
When I first wrote under this title, I asked people to look at a world where the money was taken away. My point was to highlight that some companies DO real things, some companies BUILD real things, while some (my target was banks at the time) do practically nothing real.
Now my targets are governments. The eurozone is melting down, the Middle East is on fire, the US Congress is dysfunctional, China is facing inflation and domestic unrest, and nuclear-armed North Korea is changing dictators. As our leaders burn their karma and our money at dizzying rates, when the money really might go away, where can we turn?
I look for comfort to companies that have stayed in touch with reality, that continue to do and build real, relevant things. The three companies I'm about to present have histories touching three centuries. They have survived world wars, depressions, and technological upheavals.
AT&T (NYSE: T) started by revolutionizing communications, and remains one of the largest internet and phone service providers in the world. The internet and mobile phones helped enable the "Arab Spring", Chinese dissent, and has started to inform North Koreans of their oppression.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), has been innovating and expanding since its inception in 1886. With an aging population, and with more people around the world gaining the means to purchase proper health care, J&J will be a global player in 2086, and probably 2186!
Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) has been a continuing story of steady expansion, a consumer favorite everywhere it goes. Yet, despite its long history, it still has new markets to conquer. The Middle East may dislike Western culture, but it seems they make an exception for Coke. Saudi Arabia has allowed KO to acquire a large beverage producer, providing a distribution channel into yet another market!
Is the world doomed? No. Whatever we're using for money tomorrow, dollars or drachma, beads or beams of light, people will continue to do the things they do, they will go to work, the REAL work will get done. Even as governments churn and currencies fail, the companies providing REAL goods and services that people need or want will carry on.
The author is currently long JNJ. He holds no interest in KO or T.