Steve Forbes on the Future of the GOP, Obama's Next Four Years and the Advent of a Gold Standard
The Daily Bell is pleased to present this exclusive interview with Steve Forbes.
Introduction: Steve Forbes is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Media and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine, the company's flagship publication. Forbes is the nation's leading business magazine with a circulation of more than 900,000. Steve Forbes writes editorials for each issue of Forbes under the heading of "Fact and Comment." A widely respected economic prognosticator, he is the only writer to have won the highly prestigious Crystal Owl Award four times. Steve Forbes was a Republican candidate in the US presidential primaries in 1996 and 2000. The Internet site, Forbes.com, averages 35 million unique monthly visitors and has become a leading destination site for senior business decision-makers and investors. Other Forbes Web sites are: RealClearPolitics.com, RealClearMarkets.com and RealClearSports.com. Together with Forbes.com, these sites reach nearly 40 million business decision-makers each month. Mr. Forbes serves on the boards of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, the Heritage Foundation and The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Mr. Forbes is co-author of the new book, Freedom Manifesto: Why Free Markets are Moral and Big Government Isn't (Crown Business).
Daily Bell: Thanks for sitting down with us again and answering the tough questions. Please answer as if readers were not aware of your famous magazine, your articles or your frequently quoted opinions.
What happened to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney? Did he run a good race?
Steve Forbes: To define what happened, he didn't define himself and his agenda. When you don't do that or don't do it skillfully enough the other side will do it for you. The campaign made a major mistake by not responding to the Democratic attack ads in the spring and summer, after he secured the GOP nomination. Even though Romney did very well on the first debate, as Ed Rollins said, "He made himself a credible alternative to Obama but not necessarily the better alternative." As Reagan demonstrated in 1980, it's not enough to run against a bad economic record; you have to have a positive alternative, an exciting, forward-looking one. Romney had some good ideas but they almost came across as a footnote rather than something he led off with, and I think ultimately that cost him the election.
Daily Bell: What do Republicans need to do now? Do they need a bigger tent?
Steve Forbes: The way you get a bigger tent is by getting your pro-growth, pro-positive future message out. Whether it's reforming the tax code, positively reforming entitlements, instituting a sound money policy including a re-link to gold, stopping the binge spending, you must put forth those principals and policies in a way that demonstrates these are the best ways to enable people to get work, improve their skills and, as Lincoln put it, "improve their lot in life." The tent will expand because people want to move forward in a positive way.
Daily Bell: Is the Tea Party dead? What does it stand for? Was it taken over by the GOP establishment?
Steve Forbes: The Tea Party certainly participated in the election cycle but I think they are really going to be revved up now, particularly as ObamaCare comes to the fore again. One of things that we suffered from with Mr. Romney's candidacy was that ObamaCare was not put out there as an issue. The governor said he wanted to repeal it and he pretty much stopped at that. As ObamaCare begins to be implemented, I think we are going to see another fierce reaction, as you saw when the thing was passed in 2009 and 2010. So the Tea Party is coming back again and those who think it is going into the deep freeze are in for a surprise.
Daily Bell: Are you worried about a fiscal cliff disaster?
Steve Forbes: I think they will avoid a formal fiscal cliff but the question is how bad of a price we are going to pay for it. Taxes will be going up and that's not going to be a good thing for the economy.
Daily Bell: What will Obama do in his second term?
Steve Forbes: More first-term on steroids. He won't be able to pass through Congress any major initiatives except for perhaps on immigration reform but the regulatory agencies will be very active. The EPA will do all it can to do things like put regulatory burdens on fracking and continue to destroy the coal industry. I think Obama will continue to spend as much as possible. He'll do what he can to gut national security. So it's not going to be a pleasant time but I think he will do what sometimes second-term presidents do, including Franklin Roosevelt – overplay his second hand.
Daily Bell: What is the Democratic agenda?
Steve Forbes: Making big government bigger and raising taxes in the process. They have learned nothing from the 1930s.
Daily Bell: What are your overwhelming political concerns these days? Are you still worried about Barack Obama and his policies? You don't seem to trust him, according to your previous interview.
Steve Forbes: I hope he changes but I see no evidence of it. His raising the stakes on how much he wants taxes to go up demonstrates that he thinks he has the whip hand. So I think we have to prepare for a long, hard fight and learn to do better in terms of getting a positive message across.
Daily Bell: Is Barack Obama a legal president? Is his birth certificate legal? Why should we believe this administration about anything?
Steve Forbes: Well, I think he was born in the US but I worry about less about that issue than what he is doing now. We had an opportunity to get him out of office and, sadly, that opportunity was missed and the country is going to pay a price for it.
Daily Bell: Should the Republicans have run Ron Paul?
Steve Forbes: I think the Republicans need to get a Reaganist candidate. I think we have a very good bench now. We have Rand Paul coming along, we've got others like Marco Rubio and we have high hopes for Mike Pence, governor of Indiana, so I think there will be plenty of strong candidates in 2016. I think the lesson from 2012 is you have to have that positive, liberty-based agenda to win the elections. If you mute that agenda we will get muted out of office.
Daily Bell: Why did the GOP force Ron Paul out of the race?
Steve Forbes: I think Congressman Paul unfortunately could not get across a message that could win him the nomination. One can dissect a campaign but it didn't work. I think circumstances are going to make the monetary issue come to the forefront as the Federal Reserve continues its insane policies of trashing the dollar. So we will see what happens to Rand Paul but I think Ron Paul will be seen as a man doing the Paul Revere on monetary policy. Unfortunately, it's going to take years and not just one night to get the message out.
Daily Bell: Why are the Republicans so protective of the military and the Pentagon in particular?
Steve Forbes: I think the desire for a strong defense is a sound one and the debate comes on the particulars. I think a lot can be done in the future. Our procurement system hasn't been reformed in half a century and there's a lot that can be done there. Americans like the idea of defending ourselves, and the debate should come not on the need to defend ourselves but rather on how we use the assets and how we deploy the resources that we devote to defense.
Daily Bell: Why did the current government declare a Constitution-free zone between Canada and the US? Is it necessary?
Steve Forbes: We are not going to try to do what the EU did because you can get the benefits of reducing economic barriers without trying to force a political union. Canadians would probably object more than we would; they have no desire to be ruled by Washington. That was settled in the War of 1812. Whoever wants to try anything like that should look back at 1812. The Canadians and the Brits ended up burning Washington, which might not be a bad thing but that's not the way to go about it.
Daily Bell: Is it the beginning of a North American Union between Canada, the US and Mexico? Is that just conspiracy talk?
Steve Forbes: The only way a political union can be effected is with the consent of the governed and Mexican nationalists are not going to put up with it and Canadian nationalists are not going to put up with it. But we reduce barriers in doing commerce and we all benefit in that. So in that sense we can set the right model for the EU on how to do these things. The US has to start setting a good example again. One of the things that has not happened in the US in recent times is to expand teachings of history and even specifics about what our Constitution is about, checks and balances, federalism and the like. There's a lot of educating that has to go on with the young and middle-aged. It's incredible that students don't get an understanding of what makes this country unique.
Daily Bell: Are civil liberties eroding in the US? Was the Patriot Act constitutional?
Steve Forbes: So far its role has been constitutional but the assault is now going on in all sorts of areas. We finally got a good decision against the Army Corps of Engineers a few months back in terms of the gross abuse of the Wetlands Act. But the assault now with Obama within these so-called independent agencies is going to be unrelenting and that's going to be a huge battleground. They are going to push everywhere and take the attitude, "If you don't like it take us to court" and it will be a few years before you can do anything about it.
Daily Bell: Would you consider running for president again?
Steve Forbes: I am an agitator not an office seeker. There's simply a lot more to agitate about now.
Daily Bell: How has Forbes magazine been holding up given the economic crisis? Is American media generally bouncing back?
Steve Forbes: It's a very checkered thing. The nice thing about the web is you have more people involved and creating more information than ever before. The challenge for media is that the old model that worked for 150 years has been shattered. We have totally redone and revolutionized the way we do content creation. We now have about 850-1,000 contracted contributors for Forbes.com and 98% of our content now appears on the Web but not in the print magazine, so that world is changing. Our revenues this year thankfully are up double digits from last year and let me tell you, it is still a very, very tough environment. It just goes to show, as the saying goes, you can either eat well or sleep well but not both.
Daily Bell: Will Forbes end up being completely electronic? If so, will you miss paper and ink?
Steve Forbes: The answer to that is that it will be determined by our visitors and readers. The market will dictate the tools as to how we get our content out. We can have ideas on it but you have to meet the wants and needs of the people you serve and if you can do that you will do fine.
Daily Bell: Is the Internet starting to be controlled by governments generally? Is the US government after the Internet?
Steve Forbes: Government, big government – and I emphasize big government not small "G" government – big government is using every excuse it can to get its claws on the Internet, especially the Federal Communications Commission. Some of the efforts have been beaten back but they are going to try it again. Needless to say, organizations like the UN and other international bodies will try to get their claws in, too.
Daily Bell: As a self-admitted Austrian economist, and obviously a skilled one, do you have plans to educate readers directly about Austrian economics on your Web site or in your famous magazine?
Steve Forbes: I try to promote free-market economics every chance. In addition to chucking our tax code, one of the key issues in the next few years will be getting this country on a gold standard. That's just beginning but, sadly, I think circumstances are going to propel this happening.
Daily Bell: All right, then ... you beat us to it. Should the West return to a gold standard and in the process do away with central banking?
Steve Forbes: Well, if you do the gold standard right, you can keep the central bank so they can have a place to show up for work and not do too much harm, as long as it's clearly defined that gold is fixed to a certain price and the value of the dollar is fixed to gold. I think it was Robert Mundell, Nobel prize-winning economist, who said, "When you do it right a monkey could run the system." I would be gentler and say that a high school student could do it. As for the Ph.D.s, I would take pity on them and let them play with their models during the day.
Daily Bell: Should there be private competitive currencies?
Steve Forbes: Yes. You should not face the prospect of jail if you decide to issue a piece of paper that is backed by gold and if people want to do contracts they should be free to do so. Let it go from there. I don't think it's going to be easy to do but the barriers need to be removed, meaning the tax barriers. As it stands now, if I sell a dollar for four quarters that's considered a tax-free exchange but if I buy an ounce of gold, that is considered a taxable event. So we should remove all taxes on transactions of gold and silver.
Daily Bell: What do you think of the Libor scandal? Central banks fix the price of money every day so why is the Libor scandal so terrible?
Steve Forbes: I think, clearly, interest rates should be set by the market, meaning people. One of the things that's very destructive is what the Federal Reserve has done now: If you fix a price in the private sector, of course, you go to jail. Yet in Washington, they hail you as a hero when you do things like quantitative easing, which is a fancy word for fixing the market and debauching your currency. That has been extremely destructive. We should let the markets set prices. We should have learned that from the Romans.
Daily Bell: Are regulations good and necessary for a free market? Are regulations inevitably price fixes? Aren't price fixes distortive?
Steve Forbes: You need rules of the road, such as you don't go 100 miles an hour in a school zone, but that's very different from telling me what to drive, when to drive and where to drive, which is what drives this current regime. People are going to want rules such as you can't sell them bad meat and stuff like that and making sure that fraud is not allowed. Often that's enforcement. Unfortunately, every time you get a big scandal, the response is to create a bunch of new laws whereas most of the time if they'd just enforce the existing ones, we'd do very nicely, thank you very much. Fraud is fraud.
Daily Bell: What about the euro and the EU? Are we headed toward a global recession?
Steve Forbes: The European Union is unfortunately engaging in economic policies that remind you of what happened in the 1930s, not in the sense of blowing up the global trading system as we did then but in the sense of piling on taxes in the private sector instead of bringing about change in the economy. Instead of bringing about change in the public sector, they simply put more burdens on the private sector and then wonder why their deficits go up as revenues decline. France is about to put in a top 75% income tax rate, Spain has already raised theirs to 52%, raising their VAT and raising other levies, and it's a deadly spiral. My advice to them would be 'Stop' and 'Retreat' and let people breathe again and they will recover.
Daily Bell: What about China? Where is it headed?
Steve Forbes: Well, China has some big decisions to make in the coming years. The real energy of the Chinese economy is the 40+ million small businesses they have. Many of them operate in the twilight zone legally. The key challenge for China if it wants to grow and be an innovator, is providing a legal framework and an institutional framework where small entities can come into their own, grow and become tomorrow's big companies. The tendency will be to favor state owned enterprises and if that happens in China it'll eventually stagnate.
Daily Bell: Do Russia and China pose a threat to the dollar reserve currency?
Steve Forbes: Only if they link their currencies to gold and make it easy to trade their currencies. They haven't done any linking yet but we will see what they do. They are gingerly toying with it but they haven't done it.
Daily Bell: Is the dollar dead in the long run? In the short run?
Steve Forbes: No, the dollar can be revived tomorrow but that's sadly going to take Ben Bernanke pursuing new opportunities, which doesn't look like it's going to happen immediately. But a currency can come back. It's like when you get overweight; you can whip yourself back into shape. In fact, it's easier to get back on gold than it is to lose 20 pounds.
Daily Bell: What are the most important seminal articles that you would encourage everyone to read? Where can they be found? (You said Forbes last time.)
Steve Forbes: Well, Forbes.com. We have a great stable of writers like Nathan Lewis and others writing about gold and other issues, trying to battle the ever-bloated Leviathan. Take comfort that the intellectual movement has begun and Ron Paul will be seen as one of the pioneers. Unfortunately, pioneers get the arrows but they do deserve due honor.
Daily Bell: Any last thoughts? Last time you said citizen agitation was laying the groundwork for fundamental free-market change. Have you changed your mind?
Steve Forbes: No. It just goes to show if you mute your message you are not going to win. I also just co-authored a book called Freedom Manifesto: Why Free Markets are Moral and Big Government Isn't. Sadly, that is going to be a battle we're really going to have to fight now.
Daily Bell: Thank you for taking time to address important free-market philosophical questions. It's a pleasure to speak with you.
Steve Forbes: Very good to speak to you.
Please be civil in the feedbacks. Steve Forbes does not have to sit down for an interview with us, and every time he does we learn something from his answers and also from what he rephrases or positions differently.
It is obvious from his answers, for instance, that this publisher of one of the US's last, private, old-line media conglomerates believes Rand Paul is a more palatable option for the GOP than his flame-throwing father.
Steve Forbes also makes it clear that a version of the Tea Party – controlled or not – is going to be resurgent as a result of Obama's victory. It is also interesting how confrontational he appears to be when it comes to President Barack Obama's next four years.
He returns to issues we've discussed before regarding a formal gold standard but also allows that competitive currencies generally are a positive option. We're on record, of course, as suggesting that a formal (state mandated) gold standard need NOT be imposed but that simply freeing people to use whatever money they wish is the best approach.
But obviously, a gold standard is under discussion at the highest levels and this doesn't surprise us. What does surprise us is Mr. Forbes's outright dismissal of the possibility of a North American Union. He seems to believe it is not feasible because of the antipathy of the nationalities involved. But when has that made a difference to those who come up with these strange schemes?
Obama's first term was marked by extreme rhetorical statements from "the right" (as well as from libertarians). But if Mr. Forbes is to be believed, the upcoming four years are going to be even harsher.
We would tend to agree with that.
Posted by expatriot on 12/13/12 07:51 PM
Late in doing this, but would like to make a little personal observation. Having grown up rather close to Far Hills New Jersey, and having attended prep schools around there, I knew quite a few of the industrially rich swells. Indeed my oldest and dearest friend's mother grew up in the same house Steve Forbes grew up in and likely still lives in.
Anyway, years back I had the pleasure though various friends to be invited to the Forbes' Chateau near Normandy Beach, for their balloon festival. To be invited meant free meals for several days with inside pass, grounds, house. For this I remain thankful for very pleasant hospitality chez les Forbes.
The first year I went there, Malcolm was still alive : thus June 1989. In those days I was still writing music (and teaching to survive). Malcolm at one point came up to me and put his hand on my shoulder (which was awkward because I'm rather much taller than Malcolm was) and posed for a photo with me : asking me "Who's son are you?". A rather hard question to answer as I'd lost my folks in 1980 (in a rather untidy manner), but I knew very well several people he knew so mentioned that I was close to Tommy D (who's first wife grew up in the Far Hills house Malcolm then lived in). This pleased him. So feeling that indeed Malcolm was really ok, I asked him "Could I write you a string trio... I mean, if I wrote one, could you help me get it played here for example?"
He said "Sure... " That was that.
So, returning to Paris excited, feeling I'd broken back to the tradition of classical music where works were written for important individuals (rather than for the popular masses), embarked a six movement work with a grand finalé in expanded sonata allegro form... Month's later finished the finalé at about 6 in the morning in February 1990 (strangely enough, had sketched plans for the other movements, but only finished the finalé)... As I penned (this was before I'd ever had a computer) the final notes, experienced a violent chill : so retired to bed. The next day, up by noon, found out that Malcolm had died. From what I could figure with the time differences and all, Malcolm died right around the moment I penned the last notes of that work and had that chill. Truth is stranger that fiction!
Stupidly, with Malcolm gone I paniced a bit thus complicated the matter with an idea of developing an association for composers to help young composers get played, published and so on. Thinking the balloon festival would be a good group of up-beat (rich) people in the know to ply this idea to. Well !
I'd never seen Steven Forbes before this (nor since), but in 1990 saw him up close for several days, spoke to him a bit and heard him perform several very smooth speeches.
He was at this time (although it was yet public, through the grapevine, I knew) contemplating running for president. At this point I'd have been gung ho for his success too.
Meanwhile, having printed up an outline of my association's quest to help composers, approached Steven about it. He said "I don't know much about music, ask my brother... " I understood this passing the buck instantly to mean "no way... " Steve had in his smooth speeches very diplomatically gloated over his new position as head of the family.
Somewhere by then some bright sage had whispered into my brain "never take no for an answer" and with this bit of stubborn wisdom, I went about making what was likely a pain in the neck of myself by spreading around the blah blah I'd prepared to sell my project. It was a noble project, but nobility is not really what the upper crust really cares for ! The profit margins do not relate to what these people understand.
In the living room of that Chateau there is a lovely old Steinway grand built likely around the 50's I'd guess. Lovely but rather neglected, somewhat out of tune, but playable : well almost. It had a huge pot of flowers on top of it.
A piano like that is first of all a rather expensive commodity, made of wood and metal, it's most fearful enemy is both fire & water. Indeed spill a flower pot of water on such an instrument and it is finished. A piano is built for one sort of ornament : Not flowers! But rather human know how and spirit : thus a pianist.
Thus annoyed, took the flowers off, set them on a table and played for an hour or so. Then found myself being asked by the service people "How I'd dared to take the flowers off the piano". (Indeed they were ordered there by Steve's brother, of whom I was to ask about my music project : which to me seemed sadly comical). Off course when a piano is played it moves (shakes rattles and rolls really), so it would be dangerous for the piano to be played while leaving a big flower pot on it. Indeed putting flowers on a piano is an insult to the muses, or at least shows a gross cultural backwardness. Unless perhaps the muses died and are to be buried in the thing ! This taught me something interesting : the rich and famous may be smooth talkers, but not very clever deep down. Culture is the backbone of civilisation : so if you have presidential contenders who do not know the difference between a table and a piano... well that's a sad problem!
Anyway. Steve Forbes is an impressive, intelligent and smooth talker, but he showed me first that he could not give a strait answer (had he said what he meant : he'd have said "No... sorry I am really not interested"... rather than pass the buck to his brother, my respect for him would be far greater. His mind was on his power trip (his historic social position) and I was a little fly bothering him.
His entire business revolves around being posterboy to the class of people called "the rich"... The "ists" of capital. Although frankly I suspect that the really super rich generational elites do not often wish to disclose their wealth into his listings each year. Which seems why certain well known Billionaire families do not seem to even rate there.
Frankly pleased to see that Steve has taken interest in Ron Paul... but do note he dodged most of your questions leading you only where he permitted you to go... he is a slave to his masters too. He can not say what he thinks or knows. Frankly I'd beware to suggest whose side he's on : the people's, or the money's!
His central theme for president was a flat tax... which as the New Republic back in those days pointed out would flatten the lower and middle classes. In those days I would have suggested to him a 2 or 3 speed 'flat tax' worked out to be more fair to the poor... but indeed since have come to understand that the American Constitution provides that labor should not be taxed at all : only property!
The "income tax" it is said, only pays for the interest on the dollars printed by the Fed. It did not exist before the Federal Reserve. Some even insist that there is no existing law enforcing an income tax! Ron Paul indeed addressed these points and as such since everyone loves paying taxes, suffered Mitt Romney's win... a thing that sticks of having been forced by hanky panky.
But Steve Forbes, by his answer about Mitt R's race shows that he thinks that winning an election is merely about applying Schopenhauer's arts to the max (note that Schopenhauer's Art explains how to win an argument, even if it's not the truth)... to win the argument. Shout "nonsence" at the right moment to cut down the other side. But that is not what America needs. It needs someone who understands and can relate to the every day person. Steve's own persona of again : poster boy for the rich : made it absolutely impossible for him to gain the sort of face to face understanding of who the average guy really is. He is in the boss class and can pass the buck : just after a very slickly polite to his siblings gloating over his own majority share in the family fortune.
Posted by expatriot on 12/13/12 07:50 PM
Frankly, indeed Steve Forbes showed me the very reason he could not hope to become president (zero popular vote potential) by his lack of interest in my project (which suggested to me his lack of interest in "the people" as indeed culture come from "the people")... of course, as an artist, not a salesmen, did a rotton job and must of came off to him as an opportunist ; but frankly, the opportunity was his, not mine. My project would have brought to him for very little (space in the abandoned out building of his chateau for rehearsal and his guests as an audience could of done it) a sort of moral and spiritual support to his ambitions which he sorely lacked. Looking back, indeed it was an error on my part to suggest the composer's project, when I should have simply given him a copy of the string trio I wrote for his father... it to this day has never been played. Since then I wrote an opera and because no one would touch it (an uncompromising "punk-classical" opera about money, sex and power : the sort of thing rated R movies could be made of... but opera?! Artists loved it, producers were scared by it... finally was offered full production if I'd have agreed to go to bed with a very famous european billionaire.. thus disgusted, gave up writing music altogether : rather than sacrifice my life to poverty to be some sort of hero to a deaf dumb and blind people who prefer sit coms with canned laughter... )
Steve's skirting questions : first Ron Paul's run for Republican nomination was actively suppressed and sabotoged : the powers that be had used Ron Paul to gauge the temperature (and likely build a data base of people like us in case eventual push comes to shove) and actively made sure no matter how much support he had that he'd not get nominated.
Steve knows this but either agrees with it or is afraid for his own cornerstone of wealth & influence to mention such things. No less give Steve 2 points for at least agreeing to be heard though such a subversive elite bashing paper as DB ! Yet RP's failure to win Republican nomination was exactly controlled history to make public the fact that "Liberty", small government with out a big hand in your pocket with programms to program people (control : health control, food control, etc) can not win. Indeed, Obama could never have won against Ron Paul (just as "Dubya" could never had won against John John K) while the bible belt was sure to dislike a Morman. That is because the plan to wreck the USA to exchange for a NWO is being done wonderfully by BO.
That Steve can say that the Patriot act's "role" has been constitutional skirts the fact that it's content is clearly not ! It is simply cowardly of him to utter this lie ! Steve is not an ignoramus ... well... not outside of culture anyway.
On the North American Union : Steve suggests both Canadian and Mexican nationalism as a barrier... sounding a bit like he feels that that's "too bad... " But come on big Steve! What about American Sovereignty, nationalism and patriotism? Don't blame it on (pass the buck to) the above and below! We do not want to sacrifice what America is for expansionist goals Steve. You too should review a bit of what the constitution is and how proudly we should protect what we have rather than try to give it up for something seemingly bigger. Open trade yes ; but then an Amero?! That is the dream of the world's private central bankers Steve. The ones your magazine dares not mention nor estimate the sizes of their il begot fortunes.
Certainly Steve would likely pity (by ignoring the existence of) anyone quite as moneyless as I have lived my life (a strangely happy and full one in spite of some rather shocking disasters, thank you). And frankly, I pity him back since wealth is a double edged sword. What you own, owns you back. I have known enough rich people to be quite certain of this (although Steve's father was one of the few rich people who rather seemingly bucked that trend). Indeed it is very likely that wealth carries with it a certain amount of karma, which feeds the desire for yet more wealth, power and so on. A vicious circle. The snake eating it's tail.
Steve is a comparatively rich man : perhaps not super rich as the elites whom this paper suggests direct history, but rich enough to be worried about number one. To both hold and expand his own fortune : his political ideas and indeed his famous magazine is focused on this and those with similar dynamics, not on humanity.
But how to make rich richer. Profits! Money being said to be route of all evil, well... it is a tool. A tool which only some people get a big helping of, the majority must use their bare hands! This is the place where a fabulously well educated guy like Steven runs out of gas. He would be lost with out his fortune thus can not imagine those if us who have never had any real fortune in the first place. Which of course is the majority of humanity.
Steve has a swarm of regular people around to run things... but they are all to scared to move the flowers off the piano because the lord and master of the house ordered them there !
Not much one for bowing to Steven over his swell house and party, I tried to level honestly with the manl. He saw it from the point of view he was conditioned to see it from. Superior by virtue of money. For that he can put flowers where ever he wants! The sad thing is, he is not really a bad guy (although his father had more natural personal charm : Steve's smile shows off his rather big teeth and gives one the impression that he'd like to bite you : indeed, in my case he may have).
Suspecting that Steve means well (with an eye to the adage that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"), his weakness is the result of being stuck in the mould that was born to. This includes his very slick education which is not about knowledge nor culture, but around the nuts and bolts of keeping and expanding wealth (or an elitist job training). The rich get culture by exposure, not by effort... They can collect Fabergé eggs and explore the earth in their private jets and fancy balloons, have the best seats at the Opera, but they can not experience the creative end where humanity's wealth really springs from. The human heart !
Indeed, feeling awkward after that Balloon festivaln thus wishing to at least express my thanks for his hospitality, in my own funky darkroom, printed (not so very well as I was just learning how to do this) the black and white photos (on Kodac postcard paper) I'd taken of Steve's family and posted them to him during a six week vacation I took through Italy, Yugoslavia and Greece. Never got a reply nor another invitation. If somehow I did Steven Forbes harm, or meant anything by my actions which seemed unsupportive of his interests. well, my intentions at that time was to see him become president and help him do so. I know a heck of a lot more about Mr Everyday American than he ever will. They are real people, not mere statistics. Most of them are not that well educated nor very rich. To interest them, you need to take interest in them. Well, I used to think this. Now suspecting that it is a matter of money marketing which is done from above to both sides (as both sides are puppets to the same thing) so that Ron Pauls and such as Ralph Naders do not make it but rather fail visibly.
As such we have BObama (not obviously a born American Steve) with his meaningless slogan "Yes I can". Please note : not "yes 'we' can"...
Obama is only talking about himself. This egoistic selfish slogan of course also carries a rather frighening criptic backwards message (a strange bit of hard to fathom science although it may be) :
Click to view link
Posted by clark on 11/27/12 01:11 PM
Is this an example of falling wages in an inflationary environment? It's also how the fiscal cliff seems fake,... cliff for whom?:
"The reality is, however, that what the Fiscal Cliff package is all about is a 3% reduction in spending and a 20% increase in individual tax revenues. In other words, it is actually primarily about a massive tax increase rather than a significant cut in overall spending. According to an October 2012 analysis by the Urban Institute and Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the average tax increase per household would amount to $3,500, with the average middle class household seeing about a $2,000 increase." ...
The Economic Deception At The Heart Of The Fiscal Cliff
Click to view link
Posted by clark on 11/27/12 12:22 AM
phil222 wrote, " But, Steve Forbes sounds very credible to me."
And I. Heck, I even partially called him cool.
That's why I about gagged when he quoted Lincoln.
I mean, he knows about Austrian Economics but he doesn't know about The Real Lincoln?
I guess I thought it was common knowledge among those who are in "the know".
I guess I equate Lincoln with today's Republican (Or Democrat) they are like a thugscrum of cops (the regulatory state) piled on top of an unresisting man while yelling out, "Quit resisting! Quit resisting!" or, as Lincoln might have put it, "improve your lot in life, Quit resisting! Quit resisting!"
I thought it would be obvious to everyone here, I thought it should be obvious to Steve Forbes.
Because he used that quote in that manner leads me to think he does not know about The Real Lincoln.
Will the Real Lincoln Please Stand Up?
Click to view link
Insert illustration of Lincoln ordering General Sherman to march across the South and then onward to Indian country to "improve their lot in life." here.
Posted by phil222 on 11/26/12 09:29 PM
How refreshing. A REAL Economist from the heart of the establishment. The very real American dream is the most important thing for our free world but it has been very badly trampled over recent years. A lot of damage has been done to American credibility around the world and it may not be possible to get this back. But, Steve Forbes sounds very credible to me. He should push to get rid of the Fed. If they stay in any form they will eventually find a way back to printing up more paper money than they have gold to back it. I wish him luck.
Posted by Revolutionary thinking. on 11/26/12 05:48 PM
Steve is part of the elite but he is putting forth a few good ideas, more than we can say for most of the PE.
Posted by whatevertrevor on 11/26/12 04:15 PM
Just seen this article: Click to view link
If this information regarding central banks is true, then they only started buying in 2010. So they haven't been the reason for the rise in price since 2001. Maybe martin amrstrong was on to something when he said that 2001 was the year the Chinese government let its citizins purchase gold privately. Maybe that has been the main reason for the rise in price of gold over the last 11 years? Sure, it could be lack of confidence after 911 and the dotcom crash in 2011, but I dunno that doesn't pass my smell test.
I'm not so sure though as I don't understand the gold market at all.
I mean are big institutional gold buyers buying physical gold? Is it being transported to their location? Are they buying paper? Are they buying gold which supposedly exists in a vault not in thier jurisdiction? The whole official gold market is not transparent to me at all.
So when we hear some central bank bought 400 metric tonnes of gold, how and who from are the first questions I'd ask.
Posted by whatevertrevor on 11/26/12 02:50 PM
Oh I see lol. So the buy back process has been in progress already. So is it that they sold all their gold until 2001 and then bought it back from 2001 onwards. Who are they buying from?
Posted by whatevertrevor on 11/26/12 05:46 AM
I personally dont believe there will be a gold standard again as I don't think the governments or central banks have any gold (they are lying with their inventories). I think the gold has all been siphoned off into private hands.
Unless maybe that is the idea, that they will choose to have a gold standard when gold has reached its peak price. This means that the governments/central banks will have to buy up all the gold back again from private hands. A reversal of the Gordon Brown gold selling fiasco in 2001.
Quite clever if this is their action.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Central banks ARE buying ...
Posted by whatevertrevor on 11/26/12 05:29 AM
"People are going to want rules such as you can't sell them bad meat and stuff like that and making sure that fraud is not allowed."
Who decides what is "bad"?
I would like to be able to make that definition for myself.
Judging by the shocking standard of food in New York the first, last and only time I was and will there in March 2010, regulaton of the food industry not only does not work but is likely to be deterimental too.
I got mouth ulcers twice directly after eating steak at supposedly good restaurants like Mortons. I intuitively knew the steak was bad for me as I was eating it but just couldn't put my finger on it.
The only 2 edible things in New York City were the French Fries and coffee whch were good. Also surprsingly, the hotdogs were good too.
The rest was toxic cardboard.
I was in Northern Italy in March 2008 and all the food (with no exceptions) was sublime. Is food regulation any different in the US as opposed to Italy (EU) for this difference to occur? Obviously food regulaiton has nothing to do with the quality of the food (by my definition of quality).
Obviously the regulatory people view "bad meat" as "rotten meat" and not "toxic meat", but then I have heard horror stories in the US of all meat problems stemming from the producer, but the retailer getting the regulatory stick for it. I haven't got the links for that right now as it was some months ago I read this.
The fundamental problem with America is its lack of culture. Italy has a massive food culture which protects the people from most of the corporate regulatory attacks on their food supply. America is a blank canvas and so everything rotten is played out there, and not just the food part of culture.
What America needs is a positive culture (the people defining who they are by saying no), not regulation and government interference defining who they are.
Posted by EdwardUlyssesCate on 11/25/12 10:42 PM
If only Steve was more like B.C, and Warren Buffett more like Howard, we would probably not have the problems we're now facing. I don't mean that these two are responsible; only that they are flag-bearers for thousands of wanna-bees who do their best to emulate them and others like them, doing enormous damage in the process. Just like the teachers who paid others to take their certification tests, follow-the-leaders seems to have evolved a lie-to-steal attitude through-out our nation. Just like those who followed Mao. Mao didn't kill 45 million of his countrymen directly, but his actions and those who followed Mao's actions did result in their deaths. I guess it's the ole monkey-see, monkey-do syndrome.
Posted by 1776 on 11/25/12 07:38 PM
Economic IQ test: If the national debt doesn't matter, then why are we still paying federal income taxes? Friday, November 23, 2012 by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Click to view link
Posted by 1776 on 11/25/12 06:49 PM
Published on Nov 13, 2012 by: Rand Paul
George Orwell's dystopian novel continues to come true in too many ways.
Click to view link
Posted by Ctwalter on 11/25/12 06:36 PM
The idea of seccession is great on paper and warms the hearts of the self reliant every where, but the fed will never allow a portion of their wealth to pack up and seperate. For now, the elite rulers mock us and carefully watch. If this movement ever gained momentum, it would be squashed. Can you say, IRS, DEA, Home Land Security, etc... .
We, the people voted for this crop of tyrants to remain entrenched. I didn't and most of you reading this didn't, but the politicians now in power are a symptom of a much deeper sickness in the soul of America. The cure is a return to individualism, integrity in all we do and say, honor, respect of others and compassion. Those of us who 'believe' in the vision of freedom must reach out and 'convert' those who believe in the power of government to care for them.
The problem with the anger toward Obama and the rest is that it makes us look ignorant and hateful; exactly what our opponents are. Take Obama for instance. He was raised by haters of individualism and the free market. It is ingrained in him since child hood that all of the 'isms' back to marx and other Utopianists that the way to save the human race from its own destruction is to move toward the oligarchy of what ever label the current ism is being called by. They believe in evolution from one species to the next, both in the natural world and in societies. They believe with all their hearts that they are serving the greater good. So the anger only makes those of us who inately feel the depth of the wrongness of what they are doing look like a mob. We loose our voice because we do not take apart their relitious fanaticism with reason and compassion for our fellow man.
The crowd of elitists have thier pseudo-religious world view as ingrained in their souls as a child who was raised in the deep south to hate those of another race. It takes a great deal of effort and reaching out to them to bring about change.
Politics and voting is a great neccessity but that will not creat change. We must educate the youth and our neighbors to the truth of our greatness, the constitution, the errors we have made (and they are many), the true free market system (Austrian), and the evil of central control of government, commerce (including money), food production, military, transportation, communication and media, and education of the young.
We the people with a true heart toward freedom have been playing checkers while the progressive marx based believers have been playing three dimensional chess; for generations. We must awaken and reach out or this country will follow the path of Rome.
Thanks to those who write and speak out, to those who read and post here. No matter your take on this article and all the rest, the freedom to live our own lives, think our own thoughts, and share them in open discussion from around the world is truly amazing.
Best to you... . Keep the freedom alive
Posted by george.von.uri on 11/25/12 06:33 PM
Forbes clearly only envisions working within the establishment, and his proposals fall within the framework of discussion permitted by the elite, albeit at the fringe of such permitted discussion.
Posted by dave jr on 11/25/12 05:30 PM
Good post budwood,
Your point: Look at the red states/blue states election map to see how the "people have spoken".
I see the quotation marks. I feel the degrading frustration of color coded block labels. Most voters graduated from the 2nd grade. But then, who elected the "teacher" providing our "choices"?
Posted by budwood on 11/25/12 04:13 PM
RED's comments below are quite preceptive. I too believe that Steve Forbes has good insight and perception. But it appears that Forbes is simply too close to the GOP establishment for Forbes' views to be accepted without question.
Regarding Romney's loss, it's not from lack of fully promoting his pro-growth, pro-positive future message, but from refusing to even consider the feelings of thousands and thousands of Ron Paul supporters, as well as those of others. Romney's "tent" was certainly not encompassing.
My own take is that there is little reason for 300,000,000 people to be ruled by a clic in Washington, DC. There appears to be many reasons to make other arrangements.
Look at the red states/blue states election map to see how the "people have spoken"! Perhaps the current voting in Catalonia regarding its separation from a bankrupt Spain will provide a message far beyond Spain's borders.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Posted by RED on 11/25/12 03:12 PM
I find Steve Forbes to be a gentleman with some good insight and perception into the relevant issues. I am not in agreement with all of his past positions, but the interview format is not suitable for for him to present a detailed narrative of all of his statements, and it is highly presumptuous to read in postions that he never stated.
His statements regarding a strong and viable military are essentially still correct. He did not state that he agreed with the current use and deployment of troops across the globe. A "nation state" is like an organism; it does need some means of defending whatever structures of economic freedoms and liberties it has attained or they will be forcefully and quickly taken away by "others" who do not share your values. (The warm fuzzy world will not be here until everyone agrees to allow you to pursue your free markets and general liberties, and that day is still a little way off).
Where Steve Forbes may be a bit Naive (or perhaps he simply does not yet wish to publicly ackhowledge it) is the apparent assumption that you can deal with the current "regime" on an honest and fair basis and follow the so called "rule of law" and traditionally recognized Constitutional "values".
By their actions, it is obvious to any clear thinking individual that the current arrogant "regime" is practicing Marxism and Fascism. Unfortunately you cannot trust or work with such people. They are bullies, and absent their perception of a "credible threat", there can be no meaningful cooperation or discourse. "Consent of the goverened" is a nice sentiment, but government bureaucrats in the U.S., Canada and Mexico can be "bought off" (or otherwise intimidated).
It will truly become quite ugly and Steve is correct in predicting that there will be vigorous ongoing battles on multiple fronts to preserve Liberty and reverse bad laws and legislation.
Attempting to insulate yourself from all of this may prove to be difficult and will require resources and RESOLVE!
What a mess!!
Posted by IndyLyn on 11/25/12 02:57 PM
Wheweeee!!!! Getting through the feedback was a heck of a lot harder today than usual. LOL I think I've noted before in my comments that I really love the variety of intellectual input at DB, not the least the actual questions by the DB elves but then the clarifying statements when the elves and Mr. Wiles KNOW there is going to be a great deal of reader feedback. Great reading fun!
I guess at 70 y.o.a. I'm just so greatful I can intellectually enjoy the give and take of differing opinions and feel threatened I've lost any freedoms of thought... . think? :-)
Posted by JustAnotherGuy on 11/25/12 01:26 PM
SF: Canadians would probably object more than we would; they have no desire to be ruled by Washington... . The only way a political union can be effected is with the consent of the governed and Mexican nationalists are not going to put up with it and Canadian nationalists are not going to put up with it. But we reduce barriers in doing commerce and we all benefit in that.
JAG: Maybe I assume too much, but does remaining silent with regard to the US Citizens consent imply that the US citizens believe this is a good idea or does it mean the the Red and Blue Teams have decided this is best course for the US Citizens?
SF: Well, if you do the gold standard right, you can keep the central bank so they can have a place to show up for work and not do too much harm, as long as it's clearly defined that gold is fixed to a certain price and the value of the dollar is fixed to gold.
JAG: This did not work in the US the first time it was tried.