Steve Forbes on Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Why Capitalism Means You Can Still Sell Stuff to the People You Hate

Q&A with the longtime publisher and former presidential candidate.


This story was published on July 24, 2015. Here's the original writeup:

"Markets are always portrayed as cold," says former presidential candidate and Forbes Media Chairman Steve Forbes. "Where, as you know, free markets are quite the opposite. They bring about cooperation, they break down barriers, they succeed by meeting the needs and wants of others. You may not love your neighbor but you want to sell to your neighbor." 

Forbes sat down with Reason TV Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie while at FreedomFest 2015 to discuss the presidential field, the candidates' proposed tax plans, Hillary Clinton's venerability, and the continued popularity of Donald Trump.

For full transcript click here.

NEXT: Coercion Is Bad Economics

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  1. “Yes, it’s a form of social engineering. It’s one thing to have basic exemptions.”

    And here’s why Teve Torbes was a doomed candidate. If you’re not willing to buy votes how else do you expect to get them?

    1. Seems we need to winter over in

      [dons Fist’s sunglasses]

      Valley Forbes

      1. You can’t pull them off.

        1. They’re never pulled off and yet he always puts them on. Continuity errors like that drive me crazy.

  2. Donald Trump has surged to the lead in the New Hampshire GOP presidential primary and virtually erased Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s advantage in the Iowa caucuses, according to new NBC News/Marist polls released Sunday.

    In Iowa, Walker still tops the field with 19 percent, the poll shows ? only two points ahead of Trump, who garners 17 percent. Interviews for the poll began on July 14 ? the day after the Walker campaign’s launch event in Wisconsin. The only other candidate in double digits is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, at 12 percent.

    Read more:…..z3h0P20div

    Rand Paul at 5% in NH.

  3. “And one of the things that Obama’s doing is, by helping to destroy employer-provided healthcare, putting more and more, as employers are doing anyway, on the consumer. Consumers, by de facto, is going to be getting more and more power. And one of the things markets will respond to is, ‘You don’t have to pay $25,000 a year for a family policy. We can give you one that covers accidents, diseases, and the like, for a third of that.'”

    And as paychecks start to rise as a result of the loss of healthcare benefits being part of employee compensation, Congress will tax income to an even greater extent. Also, I don’t think Obamacare will allow a policy like the one described by Forbes.

    1. As someone that’s been selfemployed for years I have always thought that employer medical insurance should be taxed as income. It’s piss me off for years paying for my own with after tax dollars.

    2. “And as paychecks start to rise as a result of the loss of healthcare benefits”

      So they say. It’s an employers market right now. I think it’s more likely employees will lose those benefits with no offset to income. At least as long as the economy stays the way it is.

      1. Employers don’t enjoy monopsony power like that. So long as they’re competing against one another, they’re going to have to bid up compensation.

        1. In a decent economy I agree.

  4. I like much of his thinking on the free market.My only problem with him is he’s against the legalization of drugs. He,of all people,should understand the harm and chaos of a black market.Why can’t people understand the lessons of prohibition?

    1. Drugs hold a special place in many people’s hearts. If there’s one public good, it’s the total elimination of recreational drug use.

      1. Yeah,I had a friend that hated pot,loved his beer and was an asshole on whiskey.But pot heads are bad,m’kay.He’s a prison guard now and even a bigger dick.

    2. “Why can’t people understand the lessons of prohibition?”

      I don’t get it either. Look how many still support gun prohibition. That would make the drug black market look like the girl scout cookie market. A lot of the same players but a lot more money and a lot more violence. Plus side is I’d be able to buy full auto at a reasonable price with no waiting period or fbi requirements.

      1. Wonder hiw quickly they would build that fence then.

    3. Someone who was raised to think that drugs are a moral sin, like murder, would no more support a free market in drugs than they would a free market in assassination.

      1. How fucked up in the head do you have to be to not be able to see a difference between getting high and murdering people.

        1. He didn’t say they see no difference. People think stealing is immoral also, doesn’t mean they see no difference in stealing and killing.

          People would say those drugs (like meth or crack) rob people of their ability to control their will. I don’t know what the counter to that is. Saying the black market is worse in a utilitarian way is convincing IMO. But if they don’t understand markets then they will probably just here that argument as “we need to crack down even harder to end black markets.”

  5. “So what the Republicans have to learn, and it’s not just Republicans?politicians follow, they don’t lead?where the intellectual moment has to be, and this is where breakthroughs in education, where you can get around the professoriate, in terms of education. Make these points about what free markets are really about.”

    It’s an interesting intellectual exercise, thinking how different the country would be right now if academia exulted individualism over collectivism, if educators truly understood that free markets are simply people making decisions for themselves in what they believe is their own interests, if they recognized no one knows a person’s mind like that person himself, no matter what education level.

  6. “Greeks, when they leave Greece, do very well. They’re successful here, or Australia, or elsewhere. They have that entrepreneurial spirit from dealing with the Mediterranean going thousands of years back.”

    Which came first? The best of the Greeks leaving their homeland to fester in the hands of the worst, or the worst of the Greeks driving out the best?

    1. Greece is nothing but a huge wood chipper.And their not alone.

  7. It is interesting that Forbes avoids talking about the GOP frontrunner’s proposal to slap 25% tariffs on imported goods.

    1. As compared to the D’s who hate free trade and think everything should be made here and all food should be local?Your a dumb ass.

      1. Obama is working on the two biggest Free Trade Agreements in US history and one of them, the TPP, is almost ready to sign.

        Yes, most of the D’s fought TPA. Fuck them. That is why I am an independent.

      2. Also, Bill Clinton is a big free trader having signed NAFTA. “You’re” the dumbass. Learn how to write a contraction by the way.

        1. Those are not free tade,managed more like.And lots of crony thrown in.He’s also for a flat tax.So I miss typed,your correction make you a asshole,not just a dumb ass,have a good day

  8. OT: does anybody have a recommended Bitcoin wallet vendor?

  9. OT
    Bernie Sanders is on Meat the Press bragging about being a gun control enthusiast, who apprently had to suppress his natural instincts to get elected in VT.

    Gun grabbing Today, Tomorrow and Forever!

    1. Shouldn’t it be Press the Meat?

    2. “suppress his natural instincts to get elected in VT”

      So the follow up question was surely why given that admission that voters wouldn’t wonder what he was suppressing to get elected prez? Just kidding, I know Meer the Press would never ask a D especially a socialist hard questions.

      1. I don’t know “Meer the Press”, but here’s Press the Meer.

        1. You have weird taste in porn. Not that I have any room to talk.

    3. Didn’t Gillespie have article on here a couple weeks ago admiring Sander’s support of 2nd amendment rights and honesty in his political positions? Guess Nick feels foollish now!

  10. A little while ago, some idjit (I wasn’t paying very close attention) on ABC said, “We’ll fix the deficit if we raise the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour.”

    1. Why stop there? Let’s raise to $150 and we can finally be in full Progtopia.

      1. You’re being short sighted here. We should just print $10,000,000 for each person then no one wpyls have to work. Magic +.

        1. I actually had some dude tell me once that the government could just print more money and we could all be rich. Stupid government.

  11. So Trump is going to the first debate in Aug 6, seeing how he’s solidly leading nationally and at the top in Iowa and New Hampshire, his rhetorical attacks against McCain being, at worst, a wash (at best, a boost). Should be awesome. I never watch primary debates but I am itching to see this one; I’m sure I’m not the only one. Hopefully News Corp makes the call to broadcast it on the Fox network instead of just Fox News; it’ll be a ratings grand slam.

    1. I actually have no desire to watch it. Maybe when we’re closer to the primaries. I’m just looking forward to football season now.

      1. That’s usually what I’m looking forward to in August. This is special, though.

        1. I can watch Jerry Springer anytime:)

  12. I haven’t hopped onto Reason during a Sunday in awhile, where’s Richman’s utterly incoherent foreign policy screed or piss-poor lecture on how libertarians should view history?

    1. Yesterday’s threads looked pretty sad. Hopefully people relax a bit today.

  13. Hopefully people relax a bit today.
    Doin’ right ain’t got no end.

    1. No rest for the wicked

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