Forbes: Gold Standard Cure For Economy

According to Steve Forbes, the nation will "re-link" the dollar to gold within five years and would get the economy moving again. He continues to say that the stimulus drains the economy and government spending is stealing money from the people.

By Rusty Garrett
Thursday, February 9, 2012 9:16 am
Times Record

Convinced America’s current economic condition is temporary and escapable, Steve Forbes, president and chief executive officer of the nation’s leading business media company, identified several barricades to prosperity and offered solutions to them Wednesday.

Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, was keynote speaker at a noon luncheon for the 124th annual meeting of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Forbes said the nation’s monetary policy, as governed by the Federal Reserve, is a major impediment to growth. He said the Fed is able to wield considerable power because few in Washington understand it and many are intimidated by the national bank.

Maintaining there is a need for “steady value” on money,

Forbes predicted the nation would within five years “re-link” the dollar to gold, a move he said would get the economy moving again.

Forbes said the nation needs to realize money comes from the people, not the government, and that spending by the government takes money from people.

“The stimulus is draining our economy,” he said.

In response to a question following his remarks, Forbes said the Wall Street bailout in 2008 was necessary because the economy was by then in a state “equivalent to cardiac arrest.”

In such a situation, he said, “the first thing to do is keep the patient going,” focusing on lifestyle changes after the crisis is passed. “So far we’ve not made those changes.”

But Forbes claimed the crisis could have been resolved within six weeks.

Instead, Forbes said, a “power play” was launched and used “to extend the power of the U.S. government.”

Forbes also identified the federal tax code as a barricade to growth. He said the federal code has grown to more than 9 million words, containing provisions that no one can understand.

“We need to kill it, to drive a stake through its heart ... and start all over,” he said. He proposed a “simple flat tax” as well as a cut in the corporate tax rate.

Forbes addressed regulation, saying that while “sensible” rules are needed, current government regulations have mushroomed, costing some $1.75 trillion a year.

He also proposed replacing Social Security for younger members of the work force with a program in which their savings are deposited into personal accounts with diversified investments to grow the funds.

Finally, Forbes discussed health care, questioning why a service so much in demand remains in crisis. “In other areas of the economy demand creates growth,” he said.

Forbes concluded the “distorted system” that removes free market principles from health care is to blame.

“Because you grew up with it, you don’t realize how crazy it is,” he said.

Twice a candidate for president, Forbes said he now prefers to remain in his role as “agitator” rather than spending his children’s inheritance on bumper stickers.

He said those currently aspiring for the office need to introduce more “substance” to their campaigns, in the style of Ronald Reagan.

He said people “want to get things right” and the candidate who can “tap into” their vision “will win this.”

More than 1,000 people attended the luncheon, which chamber CEO Paul Harvel called the largest crowd in chamber history.

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