Forbes talks business, politics at president’s lecture series

Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media, speaks at a press conference before his lecture at Save Mart Center on Monday, March 25, 2019. (Larry Valenzuela/ The Collegian)

Forbes magazine chairman Steve Forbes delivered a lecture at the Save Mart Center Monday night as part of Fresno State President Dr. Joseph I. Castro’s lecture series.

Forbes delved into topics involving the United States’ monetary policies and his thoughts regarding the country’s business regulations.

But before he did, Forbes launched into speaking about one of the biggest news stories of the past week: United States Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s recently finished investigation into President Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russian actors during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Forbes was supportive of the public’s clamoring to see the report, in full, released to the public.

“If you want to see the report, let’s see the whole thing,” he said.

Forbes said that Trump was vindicated by Mueller’s findings that will reportedly not result in any more indictments. According to Time magazine, 34 people have been indicted, pleaded guilty or convicted that were allegedly involved in the collusion case.

Forbes then went on to discuss the president’s much publicized trade disagreement with China. The business mogul discussed tariffs and the effects that it has on the economy.

“The biggest uncertainty is trade. Are we going to get an agreement with China? Because if we don’t get an agreement, the uncertainty, among other things, is going to hurt. We are both being faced with sales taxes,” Forbes said. “We don’t need an economic version of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ Let’s stop this mutual hurt.”

He said that he expects a new trade agreement with China will be reached in the next couple weeks.

Once a trade agreement is reached, Forbes said, he expects that an already strong U.S. economy will improve even more in the second half of this year.

Forbes also talked about his approval of the “deregulation of the economy” by Trump.

A fiscal conservative, Forbes said he was a proponent of regulations being lessened from the business sector because it helps stimulate economic growth.

He praised Trump’s administration for being very aggressive with deregulation of the economy.

“This administration has surprisingly done more in deregulation than previous administrations put together,” Forbes said. “Regulation, especially on small businesses, is an equivalent to a tax.”

After the lecture, Forbes answered questions from members of the audience. One person asked Forbes what he thinks about climate change and what people can do to deal with its effects.

Forbes acknowledged that humans are likely a factor in the change of the global environment, but that there is still time to do something about it.

“The question is what do we do about it,” Forbes said. “We need to allow for more innovation in dealing with [climate change].”

He gave the example that Germany had used existing technology like wind and solar energy alternatives to fossil fuel and it caused the country’s electricity costs to be more than three times that of the United States.

“It turns out that solar still has some problems,” Forbes said. “They also had to get rid of their nuclear power plants, so now they are having to turn to coal plants.”

Forbes ended by saying that “some common sense approaches can help us with problems with in the future.”

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