Steve Forbes assured Fordham students that once we reform our healthcare system, the tax code and attach a fixed price to the dollar, our economy and our country will thrive once again last Wednesday in Keating Hall.
As the Editor in Chief of Forbes Magazine, a two time presidential candidate and an author of numerous books, Forbes offered his treatment for the revival of the American economy in the 21st century.
Forbes’ talk with Fordham students focused on capitalism and the free market’s ability to breed ingenuity.
He addressed the social stigma attached to our free-market economy. “There is a weird stigma surrounding capitalism,” he said. “Businessmen are often characterized in Hollywood as evil, conniving and bizarrely fat.”
According to POLITICO, six in 10 Democrats view socialism as favorable. POLITICO reports that this anti-capitalist sentiment is felt by the overwhelming majority of democrats.
“Is capitalism a perfect system? No, because humans aren’t perfect,” Forbes said.
However, according to Forbes, a free market does breed ingenuity and turn scarcity into abundance. He cited the abundance of and sharp price reductions of commodities such as iPhones, cars and flat screen TVs.
Economics major Bryan Dufour, FCRH ‘18,, agreed with Forbes’ characterization of capitalism.
“Historically, a free market society has the record to prove its effectiveness. Capitalism forces competition, inhibits government interference and most importantly gives consumers freedom.”
Forbes additionally offered a three-tiered solution to fix our economic woes, which he says will bring back a “roaring economy.”
He highlighted the skyrocketing costs of healthcare, the 10 million words featured in our unwelcoming tax code and the fluctuating value of the dollar.
Forbes told the audience that we must revive America by pressuring our legislators to reform the healthcare system, to simplify the tax code by imposing a flat tax and to attach a fixed value to the dollar.
Healthcare is the biggest part of our economy and it is the most personal, Forbes said. “We need a national healthcare market that breeds innovation. Let the American people choose.”
The tax that worries Forbes the most, however, is the federal income tax. Forbes sees the 10 million words and rising in our tax code as morally corrupt.
“Imagine everything that America could create if it was not for the wasted time that we spend on paying our taxes,” Forbes said. “It is time to bury it for a simple flat tax.”
Jimmy Colazzo, GSB ‘18, was not convinced that Forbes’ proposed flat tax would accrue enough revenue for the government.
“I do like the simplicity of a flat tax, but I am still not convinced that enough revenue is going to be raised for the government to carry out its necessary functions,” Colazzo said.
As for the final tier of his plan to revive America, Forbes focuses on the necessity of a fixed value being attached to the dollar.
“A pound of cheese is always a pound of cheese, one hour of the day is always one hour of the day. Why isn’t one dollar always worth one dollar?” Forbes asked.
According to Forbes, if one hour meant 30 minutes one day, but then meant 45 minutes another day, our world would be in flux. For that same reason, Forbes blames the instability of the dollar as to why the American economy is in flux.
All in all, Forbes is confident that we can bring the American economy back to its former self.
“A free human mind is what drives the economy, he said, “and a free-market enables the mind and the market to reach its full potential.”