What if a year and a half from now Wal-Mart were earning 10% more than it is today, and the market were valuing the company at 14 times earnings instead of 11.92 times?

I’m not saying any of that will happen – what the heck do I know? – but if it did, that would push last night’s $54.56 share price up to $70.48.

Which would push the value of the January 2013 option (that gives you the right to buy 100 shares at $60) up to $1,048 ($70.48 minus $60 times 100) . . . compared with the $225 you would have paid for it last night.

Will you in fact quadruple your money with this speculation? I do not know.

Is it worth considering with a little of the money you can truly afford to lose – if you have any such money? Just might be.


Apparently, I spoke too soon. For those who’ve never transferred AMEX points to Delta miles, the deal good through the end of this month is now a 50% bonus (not 40%) and, on transfers of 50,000 or more, 25,000 Medallion Qualification Miles. Go to delta.com/getmore to register and learn more.


Lyn A.: “On the question of Photo ID . . . I have struggled with whether or not this requirement should be put in place. I have finally decided that showing a photo ID is not a burden. As Alvin Bluthman pointed out yesterday, everyone can get a photo ID through their state. Is it a bit of a bother? Will it take some time? Will it take a little research? You bet! But don’t we want voters who will take some time to research and understand the issues and candidates? If they can’t be bothered to get a photo ID, then maybe they aren’t really all that interested in being an informed voter after all. Oh – and on the question of how someone knows about a state photo ID, inform them when they register to vote.”

☞ Lyn asks, “But don’t we want voters who will take some time to research and understand the issues and candidates?” We do, but if we made that a requirement, I’d guess much of the electorate would be disenfranchised.

I agree that if there were a fraud problem, we should make people find what bus goes closest to the DMV office – and is outfitted for their wheelchair – and then have them find someone to take care of the grandchildren they are looking after (because the parents are at work) and go wait in line at the DMV to get a government-issued photo ID.

But otherwise, I’d be a small-government guy on this one.

So the question is: Is voter fraud a real problem, as the Bush Administration was hell-bent to prove it was? And the answer seems to have been: nope. Not really.

To which – stunningly in a world of dug-in heels – Lyn replied: “I agree. There is no real fraud problem, so I would rather we spent our energy fixing some real problems.”


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