tv In Depth with Steve Forbes CSPAN July 4, 2016 4:00pm-7:01pm EDT
relates that what's happening now. live in an uncertain environment and there's so much going on in the world with the spread of technology and internet and globalization. two things can happen. we can screw it up or we can use the events to create hundreds of years of prosperity. it's a phenomenal book that i just started. >> will it take you all summer? >> i can probably do it in a couple weeks, i'm a rapid reader. i'm a writer also. when i'm not reading, i'm i'm writing hoping that one day my writing will be read. >> you have, and book book tv has covered you talking about your books. >> i actually started something called a riders caucus and it's a group of 20 or 30 members of congress from both sides of the isle who enjoy writing. we have authors come in and talk to their process and it's just a wonderfully refreshing group of members. >> book tv wants to know what you are reading this summer. tweet us your answer a book tv where you can post it on our facebook page, facebook.com/book
tv. cspan, created by americans television companies and brought to you as a service your cable or satellite provider. >> he has run twice for president and has written four books, the most recent reviving america. >> steve forbes, the issues you talk about and write about, are they being discussed in this election? >> actually not the way they should be. in many ways this is the most content free campaign we've had in decades. take the republican side, most candidates had nice position papers but how many of them lead with issues the way i did with the flat tax. whatever you think with donald
trump, even though i didn't agree with a lot of it, he put it out there and what is amazing, his 16 opponents didn't realize what he was showing them, if you lead with an issue lead like you have conviction and you can get people's attention. it's amazing. we shouldn't say this on the air but i fantasize that joe stalin back for five minutes could shoot all the political consultants because they don't really understand how you get a message across in the way that the american people can grasp and say yes this is the way we should go. >> you've been talking about the flak tax for a long time. your second book was flat tax revolution. what exactly is a flat tax? how would a work question. >> what it would do is take the
current code and get rid of it completely beyond redemption. a couple years ago, they put together after several years of real effort, a bill to try to rationalize the current code. it came in at 997 pages which comes in with all you need to know. they used to say very the tax code but the epa may not a allow it. throw away the code and put in a single rate. we recommend 17%, generous exemptions for adults and children so nobody gets a tax increase in this. a family of four, your first $52800 of salary is free from federal income tax. no tax on your saving, no death tax because they believe you should be glad to leave the world and the same thing on the corporate side, not the rate to 17%, have a meeting of capital expenditures he could literally
do your tax return on a few sheets of paper or a few strokes on the computer. several countries have variations of the flat tax. this works in the real world. how hasn't worked worked in other countries? >> its work very well. not only does it create more growth because you can spend time working on it, but it also works so the tax evasion becomes more difficult. one of the complaints that we have about our system is that not everybody pays taxes. do you everybody should pay taxes?
>> well i take a little bit different standard than my colleague. everybody who works pays taxes. you'd pay taxes for social security and medicare, the so-called fica taxes. the government pretends that's not a tax but a contribution for your future retirement but in the real world its attacks. you take a typical american, if he or she is working, yes they're paying income taxes to the feds one way or another and on the state level, most states have state income is with a very low level threshold. so no one is getting away with not paying taxes. >> are you a 1% or. >> i am in one of the things we get through in the book is money and when you have an un- stable
currency, we have the 1% versus 99 and 99 and young versus old in public versus private sector and 47% versus the other 53%. all of these divisions. people turn on each other and i don't know why the economy isn't moving. in america, until recently before the stagnation is what was remarkable was how fluid our sick situations were. my father liked to say, in this economy if you think you've arrived, get ready ready to be shown the door. nothing stays the same. >> repealing obama care, replacing the tax code and reforming the fed will respond restore hope and prosperity. in it you write that it has been mistreated time and again with the wrong medicine and it just keeps getting sicker. six decades of growing government involvement has
grossly distorted the health system. >> it has indeed. we point out in the book, nobody designed the system we have today. by the way, i don't care what political persuasion you are, nobody is happy with the system we have. medical costs are going up again. when you go to the hospital, the experience leaves them really shaken. they wonder if the specialist talk to each other. it's an unnerving experience. the system grew out of world war ii with wage and price control company started to pay in-kind benefits and after the war in
the 1950s, the irs ruled it could be a tax deduction for businesses. this gets to the core of the problem. the problem with healthcare is the lack of free markets. the real customers are health insurance companies, government and employers. it's not the patients and hospitals know if they hit their revenue by how well they negotiate with insurance companies with the government. we said in the book, it sounds frivolous, but we show where the patient lies in the food chain and that's that the crimea's motels in the world wouldn't dare put you in a room with another guest with the curtain between with a sick guest. no one does that. the crimea's hotel in the world would give you a rope that looks like it came out of the
salvation army dumpster. we need to start to get where the patient is in control and turn what looks like a hopeless liability into something that work. >> does the forbes company offer insurance to their employees. >> absolutely. one of the things we have long before government sanctions is the health saving account. we give our people $2000 cash, you are in charge of it. if you have good health and you choose not to spend money, you get to keep it. if you find a generic drug's rate -- is better than another,
you save that money. that's the kind of thing you need more more our patients in control of the resources. if you moved to another company, that that policy should go with you, what they call portability so you're not chained to a company that you want to leave but you can't because you leave the benefits and what i do. we want to have liberation. patient control, free market and get more effective's safety nets than the crazy system we have today. we do it in food. government doesn't run
agriculture. if it did we'd have no more obesity because we dalbey starving. they tried it in russia and china and it didn't work very well. companies process the food and they sell food everywhere and you've got problem and you have everything from food banks to food stamps and you can deal with it. why can't we do the same thing to deal with it. in healthcare, have real patient control and a free market and more effective safety net. you will be covered of a catastrophe hits you. steve forbes, back to reviving america and texas. >> the last things we need is a band-aid solution. think of what happened in 1986 after the code was somewhat simplified. numerous tax shelters were eliminated in the number of brackets was reduced to two. no sooner was the ink dry on
that legislation than washington politicians picked up their old habit. there had been more than 15000 changes to the code as they snuck in clauses and amendments to favor companies, industries, and nonprofits. >> yes, and that gets to why, hopefully next year we will get some serious tax reform, but that's why you have to have the single rate. in 86 we had two rates. putting two tax rates together is like putting two rabbits together. they breed and multiply. when you have a single rate, you want to change it and everyone knows they're going to be affected by it so it's a real insurance against what happened 30 years ago when we last tried to simplify the code. by the way, this also shows
trying to deal with the reform that we have today, impossible. again, just throw the thing out. start all over and by the way, those who worry about them, if they're going to lose their charity deduction and all that sort of thing, do a a variation of what hong kong does give people a choice choice. you can go with the news new system or if you want to stay with the old, go ahead. this way you lower the temperature and you say to people, don't trust me, see, see for yourself which one is better by the way, when we talk about taxes, we get all hung up on gdp and revenues and crossing lines and all that sort of thing, think of it as an opportunity question. just go back 20 years. the irs estimates we spend $6 billion a a year filling out tax forms, just think over 20 years,
tens of billions of hours, trillions of dollars and immense brainpower. some very bright people are involved in the sink. imagine if all those resources had gone to new services a new medical devices and how much better we would be. in morality of the current code is what it's taking away from us not just the corruption of it but what we've lost because we spent our resources on something that's totally unnecessary. my guess is your taxes are more complicated than most peoples. have you ever estimated her figured out how much time and money has been spent doing your taxes? >> yes, it's terrific. forty years ago i could do my return, back in the 1970s. i've always had an accountant look over it, but i could send my understand the thing. >> it soon became impossible.
the equations and the things you have to do, 1/8 of this of this and one third of that and then subtract line seven a and go here, by the way, one of the things we point out in the book is that i have a good software to help me do it. what we point out, depending on your circumstances, different software packages will give you different estimates of what your tax liability is. even day, the gods we worship, the software isn't even getting it right. nobody can. >> in 1999, your book, the dirty little secret in washington, what politicians really fear from tax relief and tax simplification is not a loss of revenue. what they really feel is a loss of power. >> complexity is power. for example, here in washington, washington, if you are a member of the tax-writing committee and
congress, you are stuck for political life. you say i think all have a reception tonight and every lobbyist comes along with the check. yes i need access and all can tribute your campaign and this way they have power. you have to go with them to try to protect yourself. they always have to come to them. that's what they like. that means checks. >> from reviving america, our nation seems mired in a maze that compares the 1970s. is this uncertain, polarized and economically stagnant america the new normal? >> no. some people talk about this new era as if it's aliens from space
something new forces of history, is absolute nonsense. what were going through today is a result of policy errors. the one thing about errors is that they can be corrected. obviously a lot of things have to be done but we focused on reforms. get those right and by golly this economy will come roaring back. we've been through these before and after the war we put in reforms and we came running back in the 80s and 90s. we can do it again. >> the third part of your subtitle is reforming the fed. your friend rand paul discusses it but you right we may be in
all of the fed's high priest but they can no more gas the need for money than the central planners can run an economy in the days of the soviet. >> absolutely. this idea that a handful of people at the fed can determine what interest rates are, how banks are banks should be run, what the money supply should be is preposterous. the soviet union fell and we point in the book with the fed has done. first of all it weaken the dollar. this is bipartisan nonsense. that's why commodity prices went up in housing prices went up and lead to the disaster of 2008. since 2008, the fed has still misbehaved. take for example this whole thing on zero interest rates, should should they raise interest rates. controlling interest rates is like price control. there deforming the market. they will set the money they will lend the banks at but in
terms of trying to set the price of borrowing and lending for the rest of the economy, it's like the soviet union. it has distorted the market. for example bonds, i don't know whether they know they did this but they created the credit market today where the favoritism goes to bonds. corporate bonds and government bonds. usually big companies and governments issue bonds. what has happened is if you look at the credit or where credit has gone since 2008 since the fed started this nonsense, the small businesses, new businesses, households, it's killing the creation of new businesses. killing the expansion of small businesses which is a key reason why for the first time in memory small businesses are being created in the numbers we've traditionally have since 2009. we know small businesses, new
businesses, where the innovation comes from a word job creation comes from. that is brand-new. it's against what one of the great strengths of this country, the ability to always come up with new and greater companies, back in the 70s whoever heard of microsoft or fedex or apple. little companies become the biggies today. that's the slow rot and people can't put their fingers on it. >> aren't low interest rate politically popular? >> as homeowners we love it.
>> yes, the old soviet union who said the health care is free but you can't get any. the low rates today, yes they favor that, but how much real homebuilding has been done. it was better in 2009. i would hope so. but in times of terms of the need of this economy, it's still not where it should be. you want to move from here to texas or organ, or whatever, can i get a mortgage there? and the person wants to buy my house here get a mortgage? it's very uncertain. the rates are low but they've deformed the market. it's like having a rent-controlled apartment. there's not any upkeep but in terms of creating new apartments, new housing, new businesses it doesn't work. the government has grown 37% in credit. credit to corporations has grown
32%. credit to small businesses and households, only 6%. devastated figures when compared to the past. that's one reason why our labor market is so bad. even putting aside how many people dropped out, people are not getting the jobs they should we saw a lousy job report last month which was bad enough when they call the establishment survey where they go to existing companies but then they did the household survey which is better over time at picking up new businesses that are rising up that haven't come on the government's radar yet. across the board were still stuck in second gear. maybe we raised our average from 180 - 220 but it's not going to win the world series. >> steve forbes, i saw staff at 90 million people are not in the u.s. job market. >> yes, that came out with the labor market report.
you see it in what they call the labor force participation rate. that's the lowest it's been since the 1970s. were going back to the dinosaur age and not because people have suddenly dropped out because they don't want to work anymore, it's it's because they don't have the opportunity. >> how capitalism will save us, alan greenspan's greenspan's policy undermine free market. they would not have succumbed to the temp tatian to believe that a government agency the fed could fine-tune the american and global economy. >> a handful of people in washington can determine what the price of money should be, how the economy should grow and they treat the economy as if it was a machine. the economy is 320 million individuals.
it's what all 320 million of us do. we are not a machine. it affects the economy in different ways. the chinese are still grappling with trying to be with the old and with the new to get their economy modernized and yet the fed thinks it can guide the economy by manipulating interest rates they can determine what the right prices and what the economy should do and it just is scandalous. just one little thing, janet yellen who heads the fed today says, and so to her colleagues, we need 2% inflation. that's a way of saying prices should go up 2% per year. on a a family making $50000 which is the median income in this country, that translates to $1000 per year.
how in the world is raising the cost of living for a family $1000 a year stimulate the economy? i haven't figured it out and i don't think they have or else we've would've had a better economy. >> with this 70 should've taught us us is when you don't have a sound currency, when you don't have a currency that is a stable value, you are going to be, it's like a watch that can't tell time. whether the dollars week are strong, it's like having a watch that is too fast or too slow and neither one is going to help you very much. what we should've learned from from the 70s is that stability is better than instability. a watch that can tell time is better than one that can't but that lesson is just lost on people. >> are you a deficit hawk? >> you to be very careful of that.
there some who say we don't like deficit, they love spending which means they want to raise taxes. freeman, years ago, famously said he would rather have a government with the budget of 1 trillion that was in serious deficit in a government that spent 2 trillion with the budget balance. whether you borrow the money or tax the money or try to print the money, one way way or the other, you're taking real resources. one of the points we make in this book is that money is not wealth. it's a claim. you go to a restaurant and you check your coat and you get a piece of plastic or a piece of paper, it's worthless in and of itself. it's a claim on the coat. money is a claim on product and services. it has no intrinsic value.
it's based on trust. when you start mucking around with the ability of what that piece of paper can buy, again, think of the clock. we know life would be chaotic. let's say you're making a cake and it says bake 30 minutes. is that nominal minutes, inflation-adjusted minutes, is it a it a washington minute, new york minute, a mexican minute? it's chaotic but that's what they do with the money. it's a claim. when you start to muck around with it, you get problems. >> so the gold standard. >> there are so many myths and we deal with them in the book regarding america and the money book out about the gold standard. the gold standard is not using gold coins. that would be highly inefficient to buy us pair of socks at
walmart with $1200 gold coin. think of it as a ruler. gold keeps its intrinsic value better than anything else. when you see the price fluctuate each day, that's the dollar fluctuating with people's perceptions now and in the future. gold, for whatever reason keeps its intrinsic value. not perfectly but better than anything else. we had a gold standard for over 100 years in this country. we went through depression, civil war, world wars and countless crisis is in between and we achieve the highest growth rates in the history of the world. if we had maintained the same growth rate that we did for that hundred and 80 years in the last 40 years, our economy today would be $8 trillion bigger, because the way you get an economy, the way we get a higher standard of living is by investing in doing new things and expanding businesses and offering new products and services. that takes investment. that's risky enough.
most investments don't work out but if you don't know whether he went to get back 100-cent dollar or an $.80 dollar, dollar, you get less investment. in the 80s and '90s we got about ac on monetary policy. then we went back to mucking around and look at business investment. it's stagnant. when anyone asked me, can i invest in gold, i know we have a problem. buying metal, buying an object, a great piece of art but that's not investment, then then i know we have a problem. you should best in the things that are unseen, new businesses, new factories, bigger inventory. when you do things that are ready exist, people are protecting what they have. you also go to commodities. oil. oil is one of the oldest commodities around. in the 70s, when we evaluated
the dollar it went from 3 - $4 per barrel. when we conquered the terrible inflation it went down to $10 per barrel and crashed and stabilized at 20 - 25. in the early part of last decade it went up to $100 per dollars per barrel. we must be running out of it. then we went back on it. so when things are already around like copper and land, when those things go up, housing prices go up, sharply past, same house no improvements you got a problem. :
last estimate was 5000. you put in regulations. 300,000. professor. we, he writes for us. and famous defense attorney, harvey silver wrote a book, called, three felonies a day. any professional without that person knowing it commits several felonies a day innocently because they have no idea these complex, vaguely-written rules and laws that eminate from here. see it on the state level as well. that is not right. that contributes to the frustration. i have all these regs. they said there was estimate of several years ago, that a company with 19 or fewer employees complying with regulations costs almost $11,000 per employee. companies with 500, a little over 7,000. so this is why the big companies are doing very nicely, most of them while small and medium-sized companies are
struggling. again, killed bit tax code. killed by this growth of regulation. killed by unstable dollar and uncertain credit markets. >> host: from your book, freedom manifesto, for 20 years, microsoft paid no attention to washington. the result? a mammoth antitrust action that dragged on for years, costing the company billions of dollars in fines and legal fees. today the company has a major presence in washington, d.c. and employs numerous powerful lobbying firms and individual lobbyists to protect its interests. facebook, which became a multibillion-dollar giant a few years since it was founded in 04, was not about to make the same mistake. in 2011, the company, concerned by potential government privacy restrictions, opened up a spanking new, 8,000 square foot office in washington with a staff that includes a former privacy expert from the aclu, google, another start-upturned
giant is spending each many millions of dollars on lobbying. >> guest: yes. this tells you something about the scope of government today. if you reach a certain size, you have to pay tribute to, powering that be, because they will come and get you. it turns from protection, is a protection racket, from protection to cronyism, which is one of the things people are really upset about today. recent example of it. agency buried inside of the federal reserve came out which, that agency is unconstitutional i think eventually will be thrown out, came out with rules, over 1200 pages of rules put so-called payday lenders out of business. one of the advocacies of that was google which said a few weeks ago, it wasn't going to allow payday lenders to advertise. guess who has investment in company that will move into that
market as these people are put out of business? google. cronyism. >> host: does "forbes" have a lobbiest here in washington d.c. >> guest: no. we're members and work with magazine publishers association and the like but, since we're now more internet online, postal rates don't quite have the same impact they did in days past. but again, when they talk about how do we cush all the lobbying in washington, you can put all the restrictions, you have to be out of congress 500 years before you join a lobbying firm, all the things they put in. can't have lunches, things like that. if you have a problem with mosquitoes, you have to get the bad water. got to drain the swamp. you have to reduce the scope of government and otherwise guaranty, one way or the other, people find ways to petition the government, especially when it
holds life-and-death decisions over their own existence. human nature. >> host: steve, forbes, we've been talking about this for 250 years in this country. you've been talking about this for your entire career. why hasn't it changed? >> guest: people are hoping capitalism will save us, we quickly hit, this was, until the great depression, as we do today, we have the largest economy in the world. the most sophisticated economy in the world. the most complex country in the world and we have also the smallest central government in the world. state governments are three times the size of the federal government. then came the great depression. one of the things that came out of world war i when they temporarily nationalized industries and national controls, ah-ha, that worked during the war. why can't we do it during peacetime?
big government presence, get rid of wasteful competition, let science reign and experts will reign, glory will be here. clearly that has not worked out very well. one of the things we hit in "freedom manifesto" it is not enough to say free markets work, government in many areas does not work very well, veterans administration and the like, not enough to say that, government says, well, we may mess up, we may screw up, we may hurt the people that we're supposed to help but our heart is in the right places. we occupy the high moral ground. business, grub by, you can't trust them. truth. matter is, we explained, again the morality of free markets is, true free markets, not cronyism, is, meeting the needs and wants of other people. it has people where they even know it trying to figure out how to make you happy, buy what you're offering. it reduces barriers between people. contrary to myth. may not love your neighbor but
you sure want to sell to your neighbor. so that is why we have this complex, global supply chain. people all working. making products. you take a typical product today, involves thousands of people, parts made in pieces of it, all around the world. take the iphone, ipad, $10 of those parts made here, rest are all from around the world but gives us, so it is not just they deliver the goods, it has a moral basis, meeting needs and wants of other people. allowing creativity. look at these entrepreneurs rise out from the most strangest backgrounds. they learn in free markets. take steve jobs. if you took that personality, presented it to a human resources person today, not the name on it, that is not the person we would want here. he was often in his younger days he was aggrandizer, taking other people's ideas, not giving
people credit, putting people down. that was why he was fired from his own company before the age of 30 but the amazing story about him he learned, became an effective leader, how to bring others together to get something done. it was painful. he had a lot of setbacks but he learned in a free market. many people are not born leaders. they learn from experience. he is a prime example of it. so, that is what free markets are about, also turning scarcity into a abundance. you know that first cell phone we had 30 years ago from motorola? big as a shoe box. weighed like a brick. 40 minute battery life. $3995. today they give them away. you can get a good smartphone without a plan from verizon or anybody else for 100 bucks. soon down to 50 bucks. we've become so spoiled, i grew up with a thing called card catalogs. you remember those in libraries. now you have it instantly in front of you, we're so spoiled
now if we place a call to a shepherd in outer mongolia, takes longer than 10 seconds, boy this is a piece of crap, why isn't working faster? that is what free markets does, always turns scarcity to abundance if you let them. >> host: are you technology user? >> guest: yes. the nice thing since i'm a klutz about technology. i love the ipad. you touch sitting happens. that is the thing. you don't have to be an engineer to drive an automobile. you don't have to be technologist to be able to use the stuff. often times, the people who do best, are not the ones who invent it. or ones who learned how to use the invention. take for example, the mainframe computer, one of the big things that came out of world war ii. originally designed to make it easier to calculate where artillery shells would go, very complicated mathematics. computers can do that very quickly. computers have many more applications than artillery
shell directories. you know who made the most money from it? not the originator, sperry. ibm competitors went by the wayside. ibm 25 years ago nearly went bust. you know who made the most money from the mainframe? sam walton. 50 years ago, small northwestern arkansas retailer, at the time, kmart, 50 times the size of walmart but walton realized he could use these new machines, develop special software to manage his inventories better than anyone else. then supply chains better than anyone else. that was his secret sauce. he used an invention better than anyone else. >> host: i think it is in "reviving america," you and your coauthor, elizabeth ames, talks about how google buys smaller computers, millions of them. >> guest: yes. >> host: to do what they do, throw one away if they need it to be thrown away.
>> guest: like a pen, disposable. we think of google this big giant today, in '90s, it was nothing. two young kids going against microsoft. yahoo! big deal at the time, mamoth company. how will you go against giants and search engines, brin and page recognized that search engines should be like the brain. one cell, not very impressive. put them together it is impressive. so they strapped these devices together. you say it, one doesn't work, don't bother to fix it. put another in it. that is one of the things they don't like you to know, they're mammoth users of electricity. they go where hydro power and other access to a lot of cheap electricity. mammoth users of electricity. it worked. they beat the big guys at their own game. >> host: good afternoon and welcome to booktv on c-span2. this is our monthly "in depth" program where we invite one author to talk about his or her
body of work. this month, author, publisher, presidential candidate, steve forbes. he is the author of several books, beginning in 1999 his first book, a new birth of freedom, vision for america. flat tax revolution, using a postcard abolish the irs came out in 2005. power, ambition, glory, which we haven't touched on yet, we will, came out in 2009. how capitalism will save us. why free people in free markets are the best answer in today's economy. also came out in '09. freedom manifesto, why free markets are moral and big government fit. 2012 and in 2014, how the destruction of money is the name of the book. how the destruction of the dollar threatens the global economy. this past year, reviving america, how repealing obamacare, replacing the tax code, and reforming the fed will restore hope and prosperity. this an interactive program. we want to hear from you and
there are several ways for you to participate in our program and talk with mr. "forbes." you can phone, 202-is the area code for all of our numbers, 748-8200 if you live in the east and central time zones. 748-2801 in mountain and pacific time zones. send and email to booktv @c-span org. you can make a twitter comment @booktv is our twitter handle. you can make a dom meant on facebook as well, facebook.com/booktv we have one other way to contact steve forbes today with a text message, using technology. here is the number. this is only for texts. this is not for phone calls. if you want to send a text from your phone, (510)340-5559. one more time. the text message number is
510340-5599. we'll take the calls and comments in just a few minutes here on booktv. steve forbes, elizabeth ames is could author on a lot of your books. who is she? >> guest: she is involved in public relations and communications. she worked with us in the 1990s. went out on her own. started her own firm called bold communication. we have done several books together. i did one with john previs, you mentioned power, ambition and glory. you can help when you get two people, if they don't kill each other by the end of the process which is always a danger in terms of interacting and getting something more sharply honed than perhaps doing it on your own. >> host: what is your process with elizabeth ames and john of revis when you write? do they approach you with the idea? >> on power, ambition and
glover, john approached me. i got to know him on a book he did on hanibal, crossing the alps. he is about to come out with a major biography on hannibal. he said i'm doing a book on ancient leaders like alexander the great. maybe you could work and bring in modern business leaders in the last 100 years and their common leadership lessons? one of the things that quickly became apparent was that times and circumstances obviously changed between the world we have today and the world of 2500, 2,000 years ago. human nature does not. the attributes of effective leadership don't change. that's what is so fascinating. it is about people, whether in the ancient world or the world we have today, how people respond. how people respond to crisis. opportunities, or one of the things you learn is, effective leaders are always innovators but you also learn, you're never
master of the universe, no matter how smart you are. no matter how good you are, other forces come to play. >> host: who was hannibal, and in your book, power, ambition, glory you compare hannibal to google. >> guest: because hannibal was an innovator. his country then, cathage had been beaten by the romans in what they call the first punic war. cathage wanted not only revenge but realized if they didn't knock out rome, rome was going to knock out them. one or the other was going to dominate. and so the romans thought if carrage, which then had a great navy, if cathage would go against rome, would take a southern route. land in southern italy and work the way toward rome. hannibal came up with the idea hit rome from the north where
they would not expect it. go through spain. go up into italy. go through the alps with elephants. they are very good, like animal tanks and hit them where they don't, they least expect it. he was innovator not only in terms of that kind of strategy but in terms of battle strategy and a traditional set battle, the romans could never, except at the very end, romans could never beat hannibal. however, why didn't he win? he didn't control his universe. cathage, politicians in carrage would not would give him necessary resources to finish the job. the fellow, that was an interesting leader himself, his father and uncle had been killed fighting hannibal. instead of just raging he said the best revenge is success. you studied hannibal. studied his tactics, his
strategy. got to know hannibal probably better than hannibal knew himself and did a reverse hannibal. he had to fight tooth and nail to convince the romans to allow him to do this, the army to allow him to do this but he took an army and went and reversed what hannibal did. he went into spain. he went from spain into threatening north africa where carrage was. and when cart than thought they would face the roman army, come home to defend us. hannibal said to us. you can handle that. he will not overthrow you. if you call me back, i will never get back to italy again and we've lost the war. they still calmed him back and they lost lot of the war. >> host: from power, amount biggs, and glory, in the ranks of corporate leadership a crucial mistake is attributing the success of a company solely to the skills and charisma of one individual, its heroic ceo.
>> guest: yes. and one of the, thankfully there is a whole body of new literature coming out now, especially with big companies, is one person can't do everything. an effective leader recognizes what he or she can do best and is able to assemble teams to fill in where you can't do it. there may be particular job you can do better than the person who is doing it but is that the best use of your time? one of the challenges of donald trump's campaign, he is running that almost by himself. he needs teams if he is going to be effective in this general election. otherwise they will overwhelm him. but in terms of a company now, they're discovering more and more, how do you become innovative when you become large? you do it with small teams. jeff bezos has an effective team. he has the two pizza rule. when he put a team together, eight, 10, 12 people, gets bigger than that, if it takes
more than two pizzas to work late at night the team is not going to work. research shows, eight, 10, 12, people, effective team lead every can get a job done effectively. how do you get this done? one person, preposterous. just like trying to run a country with central planners. not going to work. you have to tap into the brain power. how you do that, we're discovering hierarchy may not be the best way to do it. and how do you develop these teams? we see it in sports all the time. the military has been very good down to the platoon level developing teams to get particular jobs done. so, an effective leader will recognize maybe he or she wants to parade to the press, i'm the genius but in their heart of hearts they have got to know, this is what steve jobs learned you have to have effective people who can execute, come up with creative ideas. your task is to make judgments about what works and doesn't work and what brings companies
down. by the way on jobs, one of the things haunted him what happened to sony. after world war ii, a new company, dominated the whole new electronic world and then it faltered and part of the reason it faltered was it because a series of fiefdoms, of products, of tasks. none talked to the other. so he feared that. he did not want that to happen with apple. when he designed new building in california, cupertino, even things like where the restrooms were, they were located with people of from different departments, different product development teams would run into each other. when they do hires from major jobs, it wouldn't just be the department where this person might work. he would have other various parts of the company become involved. so you wouldn't get this built-in fiefdoms, us versus them and lack of cooperation. so making a large organization work, small one, yeah, one person can do it. but a large one?
you better know how to have effective teams. you can guide them, if you think you can do it yourself, tell me that person is and i will short the stock. >> host: steve forbes, as somebody whose name is well-known and name is on the company, is it tempting, is it addicting, is it intoxicating to maybe take credit? >> guest: well, success is the ultimate credit and and one of the challenges, this true of anything, what you see in business all the time, is what happens when your world is changed? the rise of the web destroyed everything i had learned and my family learned and all of our people had learned. modeled going back to the 18 '30s with the rise of the steam press destroyed. in effect we had to start all over. easy to say. extremely hard to do which is why often it is outsiders who
make the big changes, not the incumbents because they're not weighed with legacies. one of the executives have to remind themselves by peter drucker, management guru, companies should ask themselves what is your purpose, what is your mission, what is it you are trying to do? if you try to focus on what your ultimate purpose is you don't get quite as hung up if the means to achieve that purpose are fundamentally changed and we, part of the, you know, the we live in an era you can live well or eat well. part i can do. sleep well is quite another matter because things are constantly changing and there is no playbook, there is no turnaround book. here is what you do when your model has been destroyed. you are inventing it as you go along. tough be prepared. you will make mistakes. you are in uncharted waters. great for the consumer.
they're getting great new things and great new services. buff those running it, by golly can have very tense moments. >> host: how did you respond? >> guest: well, thankfully we recognized made a good decision back 20 years ago when the web first came along and publishers thought, by golly, we'll take the printed page, put it on a screen and we're into electronic publishing, which is sort of the equivalent when over 100 years ago, 120 years ago when movies were invented some people thought you just film ad stage play, and now it's a feature film. no, two different mediums. in the mid '90s, we took our new website, we put it in a separate building, subpoena rat staff, separate support system. why? critical reason was, if you put that same line of structure, authority it will get crushed because it will be bent, not out of malice but immediate needs of
the print side. so we didn't want the baby to get crushed in the crib. so we had it as a separate entity. 10 years later, it became time to unite them and we had a horrific problem in uniting two different cultures. the journalists on the website, or i should say the journalists on the print side thought the web writers were peasants just turning out trash, common, eh. the web people thought the print people were, print journalists were lazy snobs who didn't do very much, turned out an article every two weeks and thought they were doing something. trying to mesh those together, very difficult. many people couldn't make the transition. today, seems common knowledge. you master both but it was hard to do. content creation, we still turn out, 12, 1300 printed articles a year. on the web we do over 120,000
submissions. we have over 1800 contracted contributors. very different model. but again, serving the needs but very different. we're facing the challenge. i think we're doing it better than most. our people, i'm not, thankfully they have people with us that know what they're doing, facing the challenge of handhelds, mobile devices, very difficult for advertising. so it is constant. my father said again, you think you're going to be shown the door especially in the fast-paced world, nothing stays the same. >> host: what is forbes media today? >> guest: forbes media goes back in terms of get to drucker's theme of purpose, entrepreneurial capitalism. my grandfather, an immigrant with this came with 89th grade education. >> host: ec "forbes".
>> guest: he said purpose of business is happiness, not to file up money. that is our ethos since. in that sense, one of our editors like to say. we're like a drama critic. we love it when a production is done right. hate it when they botch it. so that is what we, that is what we, that is our central purpose, giving people, analyses, the tools, to be successful. that's why we focus so much on people. it is not big impersonal forces. it all gets down to people. my grandfather said get to know the prospects of the company together focusing on the head knocker, that is what he called ceo's, than you will the balance sheet. good leaders, good people, can turn a bad balance sheet into a golden one. bad leadership, as we've seen time and again, can destroy the
most seemingly impregnable balance sheet. >> host: what are some of the publications, mr. forbes, that your company puts out? >> guest: the main one is still what we call the mothership, "forbes" magazine. we have a number of investment newsletters. we have a "forbes" asia, "forbes" europe of the we have various publications but the key thing is more and more electronics. we have over 36 licensed editions of "forbes" around the world. a local partner. we're not conceited enough to think we know every market in the world so they license it, normally. it varies depending on the arrangement. about half the content will come from us, half the content will be created for their own local market. so that print side is doing well but we're doing more and more on the electronic side. more and more of our traffic is coming from around the world, no surprise. host heat what is your role today?
>> guest: my role today is to help out on the marketing side, the promotion side. a lot of day-to-day stuff is now done by others but i still have a day job and, i think, given what is amazing around the world is the power of the "forbes" brand. the reason is not size or anything like that. i think that entrepreneurs around the world sense that with us we're on the same page. we understand your life decisions. understand what you're trying to do. and so we don't see you as miscreants. don't see you as something that has to be quashed or tolerated because you deliver the goods. we see them in a noble pursuit. now human nature being what it is, many of them don't do noble things but i think they sense what you might call the entrepreneurial class, people striving, starting with nothing to create something. they sense that we're on the
same page. >> host: would you would you think your leadership style is different from your father's, malcolm forbes? >> guest: well in terms of some of the things he is famous for, i don't ride motorcycles. he was very flamboyant in that sense. i said for decades, i was always too young to ride a motorcycle. i would kill myself. and balloons. he was very, very outgoing but one of the things he taught me and my siblings was he said, don't try to imitate others. you can take inspiration from others but if you try to imitate, do it because somebody else did it, you will send yourself to an early grave. each of you will develop your own way of doing things. and it will be constantly evolving. he had his own. he changed from what he was in his 30s and 40s to what he was in his 60s, and that's talking about steve jobs, people who are working in a world that
changes, you don't chuck everything aside. you try to keep the core but you have to adapt to changing circumstances. >> host: of the leaders that you profile in "power, ambition, glory," alexander the great, hannibal, julius is caesar and augustus, where would you put yourself, where would you put your father? >> guest: my father would probably be a combination of, in terms of knowing the importance of having that brand image, would be an alexander or an augustus, who recognized how you appear is critical in terms of what kind of ability and power you have but i think the one that impressed me the most was zenofan. not a household world today.
an extraordinary authority. athenian, aristocrat, as a lark, went with a group of spartan mercenaries. mostly spartan, but mostly spartan mercenaries to fight in one much these succession wars in persia, two sons, two brothers jousting with each other to succeed the dead father. the spartans are hired by one of the brothers. so he went along as sort of a lark and at the time, as you know, in history the athenians and spartans hated each other. they are the two dominant states. they despise one another and but they tolerated him because he had just gone along for the ride. well they backed the wrong horse. so here they are in the middle of persia, 10,000. imposing army of the brother who won, hundreds of thousands. spartans fought well but the brother they're working for. so here they are, looked
hopeless. they sent a delegation, the spartans did to negotiate with the winning brother to try to bypassageaway out back to greece. he killed them all. and so the this is the en we have no lines of communication. in the middle of nowhere, hostile territory. so zenofan spontaneously, didn't go to a military academy, gave a rousing speech and said we can find a way out of this. stirred them and they said okay. in effect lead the way. he was smart enough. he realized from the beginning he must not take the lead. he had others be the front people as he was an athenian. also, in those days in terms of the army, you had to persuade the soldiers, had to talk to them, assemblies. you just couldn't say give an order, we're going to march here. you had to persuade them.
if you didn't persuade them or they decided to replace you, you didn't get a golden parachute, they stoned you. this is high-stakes. but ultimately he became an effective leader. they got out. there are moments when it looked like it would be lost, when it looked like he might get stoned but what it demonstrates a couple things. one is, circumstances may come that you could never anticipate and you have to rise to it, even if you feel you're not ready. you have to step in and say i got to do the best i can, got to risk it. the other thing is you're still not full any control. there was point looked like immediate danger in a few months, when a group of spartans broke off he said that will be a disaster, we'll all get beaten, we'll all be weaker for it. he couldn't force them to stay but hoped before they got destroyed they would sense that they need to unite. sometime things are out of your control. what it demonstrates no good
deed goes unpunished. after he led in this heroic rescue, he gets word from athens, you're exiled. we don't want you back. the he ended up his days in sparta. the king took pity of him. that is good for us. he became a farmer and wrote history of much of what we learned. you see it in politics all the time. for example, back in the '80s, senator from new jersey, bill bradley, impressive man, great career, democrats were saying you ought to run. first in 88 and then in 1992. he said i'm not ready yet. when he felt he was ready in 2000, it was too late. chris christie, new jersey governor, a lot of people went to him four years ago you got to run. there is vacuum out there. he said i'm not ready. he should have. even though he felt he wasn't.
like zenofan you have to go in. life doesn't always go the way you want it or on the timetable you think is best for you. you have to plunge in and take the risk. >> host: is he any relation to the term we use today, xenophobic? >> guest: i don't know. he was not xenophobic. quite the opposite. athenian learning how to lead spartans. >> host: all right. so where would you put yourself on this list of leaders that you talk about these ancient leaders? >> guest: like most, it would be a mix. xenofan, importance of leadership, being able to respond to changing circumstance. one who gets short-shrift of history because greeks wrote it, cyrus, standards of the time. underline the words, standards of the time, he was very tolerant. normally in those days
conquerors came in and killed everybody and sold the rest to slavery. he would in effect take over a place, pay us the tribute, we leave you alone. why jewish historians liked cyrus. he was much more tolerant than some of the others that ruled them. and so, again, realizing you can't have it your way or the highway. i think augustus in the sense ever recognizing how you step into an unusual situation and reform. he was a great reformer. even after he won the civil wars, he was not a natural-born military leader. he had to step in and cope along the way but he was smart enough to recognize too that you don't have to be flamboyant. julius, his uncle, ultimate flamboyance. we saw where that led. even though he knew he had ultimate power he always took
care to consult, work with people, so that he wouldn't get natural accumulation of enemies that somebody says, do this, do that. like jobs, he learned and he survived. he didn't die the way his uncle did. his wife killed him in the end. >> host: last question before we go to calls and texts, et cetera, some of the leaders that you speak highly of i think in "power, ambition, glory,," ray kroc, sam walton, henry ford, what do they have in common? why do they get positive treatments? >> they're all innovators. henry ford we know from the moving assembly line. people forget he went bankrupt twice. almost went bankrupt a third time. the model a, before he got it right. and it was a sheer determination that made it happen. lesson from him was, that determination is inspiration and then he fell into a rut.
thought the model t was it. alfred sloan, put yourself in his shoes. in the early '20s, gm near live went bankrupt then. ramshackle company. henry ford had 56% of the u.s. market. nobody could make a car cheaper than henry ford, the model t. getting cheaper and cheaper. what do you do? your company, ramshackle, disorganized, can't compete on price. so sloan just changed the rules of the game. he introduced, thanks to his gifted engineers, introduced the annual model change. he recognized a car just wasn't a contraption to go to point a, point b. it was reflection of yourself. it was a fashion statement. all the things we now take for granted. this guy looks like an accountant, he was, recognized the importance of fashion, annual model change. excitement. what will be new in this model? he segmented the market from chevy to cadillac. set up a car for every purse.
allowing you to choose color. henry ford said you could have any color you want as long as it is black. sloan let you choose the color. buying on time. no ad is complete, six years financing, blah, blah. in those days you put the cash up front. ford thought sloan was going to destroy general motors allowing people, like a house, car you could move or wreck but a house, you could do a mortgage on that but equivalent of a mortgage on an automobile he thought it was ridiculous. sloan allowed you to put down payment and make money payments. so in handful of years the company that was on the ropes became the dominant auto company, even today, will still sell at times more cars than toyota. general motors had its own history. they lost sight of the spirit of alfred sloan. but sloan in that sense was an inspiration. somebody dominated in one area, by the way politicians, republicans should learn about donald trump, try to play his
game, he will beat you. they should have taken inspiration from sloan. devise your own sandbox. devise your own rules of the game. only way you have a chance to win. then ray kroc, there is an inspiration. he was in his '50s, back in the 1950s. that is like being in the mid '60s today, with longevity. never quite hit it in life. so here he was selling milk shake machines out in california. always striving to make the big hit, especially in food. never quite did it. long story short, he came across a hamburger stand, mcdonald's brothers. they had a couple of outlets. he saw what they didn't see. they had standardized food business. as you know the restaurant business is toughest business possible. highest casualty rate. inventory always going wrong. you have to worry about -- it is, each day you start anew, tough, tough business. which is why he never had a national chain. sort of had semione in the railroad days but they were
always regional. howard johnson's in new england. middle atlantic states. national? no way. too complicated business. hey, standardize the business. i get the mcdonald's brothers to expand even more i can sell them more milk shake machines. he was milk shake salesman. he realizes this was more than milk shake machines. he bought them out. and established first national and went overseas. standardized a business people thought couldn't be done. he is one of those said stick to your knitting. when they come to him, why don't we go in this area, why don't with go in that area, he said, can you guarranty every restroom in every mcdonald's restaurant is spic 'n span clean? they said, no. we'll not go out of our realm. so, that kind of ability to do big things. and innovate in an area, again seeing what others didn't see.
ray kroc saw what the mcdonald brothers did not. they didn't know what they had invented. just as when steve jobs went to menlo park, saw what xerox researchers did with the thing we eventually called the mouse. they didn't realize what they had. he did. he said, oh, my god, this is unbelievable. went and developed it. and so again it is not just inventing. you need somebody to recognize what the abilities are. >> host: steve forbes is our guest. callers been patient. please go ahead. >> caller: how are you? can you hear me okay? >> host: we're listening, sir. >> caller: i'm interested in your view, how you view the union movement in this country? it is very influential still. can or do they help or interfere with your kind of reform
proposals? >> host: what is your view of the union? >> caller: i think they're necessary but they seem to interfere with a lot of things. >> host: thank you, sir. steve forbes. >> guest: i think first you have to make the distinction between traditional, what we used to call industrial unions and government worker unions, two very different things. the government workers unions have gotten a lot of power and because in effect they negotiate with themselves, the politicians know many of them, that they're dependent on their support, we've gotten the situation where pension systems have not been, not been properly funded. on the industrial side, the very prosperity of the u.s., especially since the depression, union membership has declined very sharply and sometimes, many times, they have gotten in the way of their companies whose workers they represent from making necessary changes. classic case is detroit. back in the 1970s, when the,
early 80s, when the japanese decided and other foreign companies decided to put facilities, manufacturing facilities in the u.s., they went first into the michigan midwest area because that is where the infrastructure was for the auto industry. they went to the uaw, united auto workers and said, we want to set up shop here, set up factories. however, your work rules, especially the japanese said, honda, led the way, we can't work with these. they won't work with us. so we need a change in the work rules. the uaw said no way. you're going to have the same work riles as the others, stifling work rules. so honda first did a facility for motorcycles in ohio, non-union. and then the other manufacturers came in and put in facilities in, they call right to work states where you didn't have unions. and they flourished and detroit, we saw what happened to them several years ago.
so the unions didn't respond in this case to a very changed circumstances. they're stuck in the past and it hurt. by the way, sometimes union leaders not just politicians are out of touch with their constituents. there is union in the northeast, communication workers of america. they're big in government workers. they just had a strike with verizon. and the cwa workers, union leaders were in favor of bernie sanders but astonishingly a good portion of their rank-and-file, not government workers but industrial workers were, are in favor, or at least were in favor of donald trump. they were quite startled by it. >> host: there is a book that you wrote with your picture on the front. it came out in 2005. it is called, "flat tax revolution." i think you know what i'm going to show but it is blush on top of the book. a must-read by anyone interested
in the future of this country, donald trump. is he a friend of yours? >> guest: known him for 30 years, back in the '80s when he burst on the real estate scene in new york. i was hoping he would go with the flat tax in the campaign. came up with a tax plan, needs some tweaking, not bad but wasn't a flat tax t was persuasive, not persuasive enough. >> host: have you endorsed him? >> guest: i made clear if he is republican nominee i will back him. >> host: who were you supporting in the primary? >> guest: none. like a "dating game." find pieces of this, that candidate, i like. none ever put it together. as we were discussing earlier, i was shocked many of these people did not lead with something like the flat tax or something big in health care. not to pick on them because everyone did. jeb bush, who was sensational governor of florida, came up with the theme, we need more
economic growth. yeah, right. he said, 4%, need 4% gdp growth. i understood what he was saying. you say 4% gdp growth, sounds like hair formula. rogaine with 4% gdp. they never gave people a takeaway. never gave people, what they call marketing deliverable. how this will better the country, how it will better you, the way reagan did in 1980. wasn't just reagan was a very smooth speaker, all that kind of things, he had substance and knew how how to put it in a way people would say, yeah, i get it. he understood how to communicate. by the way we all worship, people like abraham lincoln you can learn how he tried to persuade people on certain issues, we're not very much in favor initially where he was coming from, how you bring people along. he learned that because he was
an an attorney, always had to convince juries how do i get the point across to juries? how do i bring people along. so he would always start with something small and try to bring them along, understanding sometimes they're not going to come along but bringing people along. reagan understood it. most of these candidates did not and i think people still yearn for that. >> host: and, here's a text message that came in for you, came in from detroit i think. 313 area code. how can a republican president create changes that would be more favorable to the economy than a democratic new president? >> guest: because, taking bernie sanders and lesser extent, hillary clinton, she is bernie sanders light, they both wan to raise taxes substantially. that is going to be a disaster. they want to have more government involvement in health care. that is a disaster and huge
missed opportunity for really unleashing great new innovations in health care. and better coverage for everybody. they don't understand the fed. and so on republican side ted cruz, i know he has dropped out, was becoming very good on the need to reform the fed. donald trump has made some comments on it. so maybe he will elaborate on that more but i think trump understands, we'll see how he articulates it, the need for fundamental tax reform, the need for fundamental reform on regulation. when you talk about regulatory reform, people tend to think, that means you're an anarchist. you want to throw them all away. no. what, what you're doing, what you're doing is trying to come up with sensible, common sense rules of the road, not telling you what to drive, where to drive, things like that. >> host: we have a dedicated number set aside for text messages. text messages only not for phone calls.
if you would, if you do send a text, please include at least your name and your city so we can identify you that way. freida, calling in from little rock, arkansas. you're on with author journalist, steve forbes. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. let me just say that i am disappointed in you, mr. forbes, for not backing fully ted cruz. he was the only constitutional candidate that you had and he backed capitalism quite a bit. he thought of your flat tax and adjusted his tax plan according to you. and he adopted some of your ideas. why did you stay neutral? our country is at stake here and yet all the people that are conservatives and yourself, stay neutral. >> host: freida, we got your question. let's hear from mr. forbes. >> guest: freida, in terms of ted cruz he did have some
interesting, good ideas on the flat tax but it was very late in the day before he put it out there and led with it. and in terms of, in terms, same thing with the federal reserve. he started to get it. i talked to him about it but he didn't lead with it. and come out front on these things. and he didn't do the way we're discussing in terms of making these clear in a way that people could immediately grasp. you say constitutionalist. i understand what you're saying about the constitution. i think by the way ted cruz should be a chief justice of the supreme court or at least an associate justice some day. he would be superb. he understands that document in a way few others do and the history behind it but he didn't go out there and lead the way that reagan did and so, i was almost there for him but he, he didn't close it until almost the end when it was too late.
and, that's why, when all the other candidates fell by the wayside, most of them, except for governor kasich, cruz hadn't established that reagan identity in terms of the issues like the flat tax or health care, having patients control health care and so he wasn't, trump was able to beat him because cruz hadn't established it the way trump did with issues like immigration and 45% sales taxes on imports. >> host: will you be attending the convention, mr. forbes, in cleveland? >> guest: i haven't attended a convention in 20 years. >> host: why not? >> guest: i attended every year for 30 years everyone. wasn't new to see. it was like watching football game in the midst of a winner, you see more on the screen, c-span and others, fox and others networks are out there
covering the thing. so i thought instead of being swirling around rumors, i would have people like you ferret out what was happening. especially in this age of social media. >> host: what do you remember about conventions in the earlier days? did you enjoy them? >> guest: yes, because before, first one i attended was 1964, the goldwater convention at cow palace which is no longer around in san francisco. back then they hadn't mastered television. the speeches were awfully boring but they were authentic. they allowed floor demonstrations and people behaved, rarely they would do on tv, maybe the democrats will be different this year, where everything is choreographed down to, you know, where you sit and what you wear and when you smile and when you don't. and in '64 it was very raucous and raw. goldwaterites were taking over.
eastern establishment had been defeated. there was no love lost between them. i will never forget being there watching nelson rockefeller, governor of new york, unsuccessful candidate make a speech, went up with his wife, second wife and in those days, you forget today, divorce was a huge, huge issue, far more than today. here he came, with a second wife and the convention, most of the delegates were goldwater delegates, booed and wasn't just boo. it was, you look at their faces. this was representative of the devil. the devil would have gotten a better reception than nelson -- and raucous. screaming. and i thought, oh my, wow. that is amazing. and but that was the kind of raw emotion you would see at a convention. and things would happen. '68, enough said, chicago. riots in the street. as the convention was going on.
mayor daly wouldn't do it today. obviously passed away but, where he in effect said some choice words, lip readers could see it when senator rubicoff of connecticut was speaking. you don't see he much of that. the last convention we had even semicontest was 1976 in kansas city between reagan and gerald ford. but even there we sort of, everyone sort of knew ford had the slight edge. it would not be a landslide. only totally unscripted thing afford got the nomination and was calling the to accept the nomination he called reagan down to say a few words in the stands. reagan was up in the audience and he lost. he finally persuaded reagan to come down and say a few words. and reagan said some words, probably from the speech he was going to give if he had gotten the nomination. you could see people saying man,
did we make the right choice here? because he was so good. and, and, then in 1980, the excitement, every last bit of excitement was the, when looked like reagan might try to have gerald ford who was ex-president, to be running mate for vice president, sort of a copresidency. for several hours that was swirling around before reagan picked george h.w. bush. those moments are rare. more and more it has become -- that is why democrats have their superdelegates, since the conventions are a coronation. why not make sure, their thinking was, you have all these elected officials who might not have made it through the primary process because they backed the wrong candidate with you we want them there to unite the party, all that kind of thing, that is why superdelegates. not to rig it normally the decision already been made. here we have a year where you could still come up with
but for a kid a was exciting. living in the white house, eisenhower was not just the president he was the man who helps with world war ii and so it was quite exciting. but it was also a good political lesson even though he was an source by ike and vice president nixon came into help my father. my father said he was nosed out by a landslide and endorsements, endorsements are nice but they don't always sway voters. >> host: we are going to show another picture here. who is in this pitcher mr. forbes? do you recognize that picture at all? >> guest: yes. oh wow how young i looked. my father and my mother, brothers. they would make a little larger. >> host: and next year father? >> guest: that's me next my father and there is more of me
now and less hair. >> host: who are your three brothers? >> guest: christopher, kipp would call him bob and then tell him and him. this shows the utility of social engineering. here we are brought up in the same household and the same parents and each of us very different for just one example my brother tim is big still. he is in his 60s and mountain climbing. he does ice climbing. i think he's but he actually enjoys it great i will never forget several years ago we were in wyoming. he lives in wyoming now and they decided to climb on the tetons. he went with his daughter and they went up at 1:00 a.m. in the morning, that's what you do, and spent the day climbing up and down. at the end of the day late afternoon he comes back full of
vigor and she is limping. she's in bad shape, could barely move. to days to recover and she said, and he does this for fun? what's the matter with this guide collects. >> host: we will show more pictures as they go this afternoon on booktv. jeff in fresno thanks for holding. you're on with steve forbes. >> caller: yes, mr. forbes. since nixon i do remember any republican president or republican legislature ever doing anything to try to win health care for all americans. now don't get me wrong i don't believe in socialized medicine but why not modify obamacare as opposed to appeal it? >> guest: the reason for starting like the tax code seminew with obamacare is that the thing has just not work. for example the individual
mandate, and expert who works for the government the other told me -- the other day told me we have exempted two-thirds of the individuals from the mandate because the thing wasn't going to work and it would be clinically unpopular to require it. expenses are still going up in exchanges are not working well. for example many of these bronze plants even though they are subsidized premiums than vegetables are horrible so people may have insurance but they are discovering that their out-of-pocket costs are higher than they were before. so rather than try to amend obamacare i think we should move more in the direction of reforms such as nationwide shopping for health insurance. right now every state has their own rules. we have the state cartels. i live in new jersey and even before obamacare new jersey's regulations were crazy. i could get a perfectly good health insurance policy at a fraction of the cost of new jersey but it was illegal for me to do it.
i could buy it in pennsylvania but not the insurance. let's have nationwide shopping and how about transparency? they could do this tomorrow. by repealing obamacare i want to enhance the availability of health care but in terms of getting consumer control why not mandate that hospitals and clinics post prices for all the treatments and services, and so one hospital charges $2000 for an mri and the other says we will do appropriate and 50 u.s. a consumer can say okay, let's look at that or how about requiring hospitals to post each month how many patients die from infections received after they went to the hospital. it's a national scandal. chipotle food, and a restaurant, it's food poisoning and it's a national story. thankfully nobody died in that case the tens of thousands of patients die unnecessarily from
infections received after they had met into the hospital. people don't know that. that should be public information and you should be able to choose your own health insurance policy instead of what the government says you should have. i don't need pregnancy services. we should be able to use what meets their particular needs so those of the kinds of reforms we outlined in the book that would be very positive and more effective like we have with food, more effective safety nets, more health care, more affordable health care. he's a little snippets of it. you'll see little snippets of what can become. for simple surgery on the eyes, lasik surgery on the iso you may not have to wear these things cost about half in real terms, a fraction of what it did 15 years ago. why? because you don't have the disconnect between buyers and consumers so providers have every incentive to make it more affordable for you, more attracted to you. our publisher in reviving
america rich carl guard who said 12 years ago he got it done for 5000 he said i could get it done for 2500 perhaps for the better result. so we want that involves health care, more for less. cosmetic surgery has grown sevenfold in 20 years but unless there's a disease or in accidents between you and the provider so you spoke it out like anything else. he you don't have the wild inflation you have elsewhere so we are trying to get the best of all worlds instead of a system where they will have more and more rationing. i will just give you one example and i know i'm going on but this is critical. one of the virtues of the free market is that it gets information out very quickly. when something works everyone greatly imitates it. i -- apple came along with apple an ipad and samsung later came up with a product version. it takes years for things to go through. one example, breast cancer. you are told that a certain age if you're a woman get the
mammogram. do you realize if you have dense tissue mammograms have a very hard time detecting cancer. they only get its 30, 40 or 50% of the time but there is a new way of doing it called mvi. it's called a think metabolism of imaging and i will get the name here because it's important i will find it. like you'll are breast imagery. look it up. he it comes from the mayo clinic is the one that's pushing it so it's highly reputable institution. nbi so spouses or friends or whatever tell them to get the mbi. it's light-years ahead in terms of detecting breast cancer if you have dense tissue and why haven't we had more publicity on
back? we have this top-down system and so critical information doesn't get expanded as rapidly as it would in our normal free market. so these are truly life-and-death decisions and that's why i don't want more of the same. i'm trying to improve what we have now. i want or in the providers know they have to satisfy you, the patient. when you're in charge i guarantee you it will be a very different experience, not perfect as we are human but it would be far better than the experience you have today when you go to the hospital. >> host: joseph in santa barbara please go ahead with your question or comment for steve forbes. >> caller: good morning. it took me three years to get on and i'm happy to be here and mr. forbes and happy to have you there. i would like to first, i am a registered independent, in my 70s and i have been watching c-span since the very beginning.
what my concern isn't i would like to get your opinion on a solution, is that we have a situation where our congress makes the laws but when it comes to the rulemaking and regulations, that is done by unelected bureaucrats and the problem i see there is of course they are primarily liberal and they are protected from being fired and it doesn't matter who, what administration dues whether republican or democrat, they continue to resist so it's almost like a fourth part of our government which is not in the constitution. so that concerns me and i don't know what we can do about it and i don't see a lot of talk about
it. >> host: let's ask steve forbes and ask what he has to say. joseph in santa barbara thanks for watching and glad you got through. >> guest: thank you joseph. you bring up something critically important and that is most of the effective laws today are made -- not made by congress, they are made by these agencies and government departments. in 2014 for example i think congress passed 115 or 114 laws. agencies passed the equivalent of 3400 laws and regulations and 3000 others in the works. and too often these rules and regulations are made based on more ideology and whim rather than science, trying to fight them or it is very difficult and people don't know and we were discussing earlier in the show people don't know they are committing felonies. to show you how crazy it is you gone to federal land walking your dog if your leash is longer
than 6 feet you are committing a crime. now put aside whether they should be regulating the length of leashes but making it a federal crime is absolutely preposterous and the code is littered with this stuff just under the federal code of law. 5000 laws they think, they can't even count them all and from from the regulatory agencies which you talk about, 300,000 and so one step in the right direction senator hatch of utah is pushing this as a number of people in the house and it got via partisan support for it. it hasn't gotten to the senate yet is amplify what they call mens rea latin for guilty mind. in other words if you don't know you are committing a felony when you have a long leash when you go to a federal park land they can't throw you in jail and so you have to know that you are committing a crime before they
can do it. then in essence is the reform that senator hatch and others want to put in this new crime bill that they have been discussing in congress. that would go a long ways to this arbitrary situation where rules are written in vague language so it's up to the bureaucracy to interpret what they really mean. it goes against the rule of law. the rule of law is based on you know what the rules of the game are and if you violate them you know you are going to pay a price for them. today the book by harvey silverglade, three felonies a day, that is all too true. uncle sam wants to get you he can. we should change uncle sam's name to uncle tyrant in that sense so the hatch reform would be a superb step in the right direction and then their number of institutions and i was at the competitive enterprise institute that are fighting legally these excesses and pushing legislation.
for example on the regulation it costs cost more than $100 million a year congress must vote it up or down. you can't just say that's out of our hands. they have to take the electoral responsibility for it. so i think people need to learn more about how dangerous the situation is and performs like the hatch reform or some of these other bills that give the citizen more power and more accountability to our elected officials that they can't hide behind the regulatory state, all those would be good steps in the right direction. >> host: from his book "freedom manifesto" steeple for detroit's regulatory -- are being treated as criminal offenses by federal practices that are increasingly resorting to the use of force. joe is in lakewood colorado. joe, good afternoon. >> caller: good afternoon and good afternoon mr. forbes and thank you up tv for hosting him. i've enjoyed your insights and
i'm wondering about your position on getting health care through your employer. you sounded like you didn't see that as a good thing in my experience is what my company downsized their lost my job and i was paying $13,000 a year in cobra but when i switched insurance it costs 17 to $22,000 a year because i was grouped in the over 55-year-old insurance risk pool. the company-based risk pool as a consumer that sounded like a better option and i was wondering what problems if any you saw with employer-based insurance plans since i wasn't able to find better cheaper plans as and should we be looking towards the blue cross-blue shield program of nonprofit health insurance? thank you. >> guest: an interesting question and a couple of things you touch on that one reason why employer-based and by the way if an employer wants to provide health insurance we think the way we would do it is very attractive in getting and keeping good people but one of the challenges is that you
mentioned you have cobra which is very expensive but because of the tax situation if you are an employer or self-employed you get to deduct your premiums which effectively reduces the cost quite a bit. if you are just an individual who either wants to change jobs or lost a job and has to go on cobra you go on the individual market, you have to pay with after-tax dollars so already when you go out there you are 30, 40, 50-cent -- 50% behind in that has to change. another thing is that since the markets are all geared now towards employers and third parties i think with the changes we are talking about you will get the development of an individual market and one of the reforms we have to make is to make it feasible and easier when you leave an employer, you own the insurance policy. if it costs $13,000 you pay
$13,000. it's not 17 or 22 or 32 and you have to go in these exchanges with the 50,000-dollar deductible and you have to go specialist five-parter miles away. that's the kind of system we have to change and those changes are very feasible. i think again when hospitals and clinics no that the individual controls the dollars not the employer. employers too often and we are guilty of, we try to do our best insert a one-size-fits-all. we offer a policy and they think it's a good one especially that $2500 we give you to meet the deductible, cash. you make include that it fits your particular need. each individual has particular needs. you should be able to choose what meets your needs not what an employer thinks so we want a
true market. if we can get it through the employer, get it through your union or an association or paternal order whatever an individual market, just like you do with homeowners insurance for car insurance, i want that kind of competition where flow and others in the geico thing whatever you call them are saying we have got something better for you. we can do it cheaper for you. that's the kind of competition i want so i want you to control those dollars am by the way just one thing on this. because of the system we have and to get nobody has decided, people don't realize how much they actually pay for health insurance. not just a duck opposing co-pays, is also the tax you pay to the federal government to finance medicare and a taxi. the federal government to finance medicaid and the tax to finance their portion of medicaid, the salary that you might have lost because the
company has to buy the health insurance that could have gone to you in terms of salary. it adds up over your lifetime. over your lifetime without you even knowing it you effectively spend $1.9 million on health care and most people have no idea the true price of what they are paying us. >> host: for every author we have on "in depth" on booktv we ask him or her the books they are currently reading and some of the books that are important to them, their influences. here are some of steve forbes answers and if you are on the lights stay on the line because we will be coming back to take your calls. ♪ ♪ ♪
you showed that money, properly understood is the root of all good. >> guest: yes, when he became treasury secretary, the u.s. was a junk bonds nation in desperate shambles. our finances were in shambles. it studied the bank of england and studied how britain's smaller than france because the finance was right was able to beat the french empire and so he wanted to take some of the basic principles here are you one of them was he realized stable value for money so he fixed the dollar to gold. he is into the revenue system for the federal government so it would have government so to have a reliable source of revenue. he took over state debt because he wanted that holders around the country to have a stake in the success of this new enterprise so he took the shambles of the debt situation from the revolutionary war rationalized it and he established them. he got a system of finance going that was critical and was
underappreciated by historians. maybe the play hamilton will get people to look at hamilton again in a serious way. the critical reason we went from a small east coast nation to the mightiest industrial nation in the world within 100 years, extraordinary come even more oppressive than what britain did. hamilton put the system and that made that possible. we take it for granted. >> host: have you seen hamilton on broadway? >> guest: i haven't. it will probably be three years before he get a ticket. they are hard to get. >> host: 202 is the area code if you want to get dinner conversation was steve forbes. we will put the phone lines up and the social media dresses up and we are going to put up the text address. this is for text messages only and it is 5103405559. that again is for text messages only. if you would like to send one please include your first name
in your city so we can identify you that way. that would be great and i do want to go to a text message that we have been holding here and this is from scott in wilkes-barre pennsylvania. mr. forbes would you consider a cabinet position in the trump white house specifically secretary of the treasury? >> guest: the answer is any president calls it you take the call and is not likely to happen for a whole variety of reasons but i'm glad scott things that i would be qualified to get the call. the key thing is to make sure the ideas are right in to keep whoever's president not only understands it but will make clear to his or her staff don't get in the way of the reforms that are needed one of the veins of the secretary shipped today and really frustrates the governors is when you come and you find out the president is not your boss.
it's capitol hill. you have the rolling white house staff who think they know more than you do and don't mind trying to show how smart they are by micromanaging you. try to set up the rules in advance but whoever's the president weathered style trump and he has headed there today which can change but whoever it is will be sending my ideas even though i'm a scotsman. i will send them a free copy of my book. >> host: why these they would not happen river idea fresen's? >> guest: one, there is a whole calculus of decisions and factors that go into picking a cabinet member. taking care of certain parts of the country in certain parts of the party, certain groups that you want to show that you are attending to and so or there may be a headline about some crisis in asia say you may want somebody to recognize it. the whole friday things in an not just one post. it's a number of posts to go into this thing.
when you read how it's actually done it's kind of a helter-skelter thing. it's partly science and coming up with 10 names en bloc, blah, blah blah and that the end they say this person might be good but we have to use political capital to get him or her for congress through the senate and even though they might do it maybe we should save our political capital for something else. i'm keeping my day job for now. >> host: raymond in tyler texas please go ahead with your question for steve orbs. >> caller: thank you steve. my question is on the gold standard. the gold is a solid currency within regard to keeping our sovereignty and having a solid currency that is impenetrable by other nations and it is a standard. going along with grass and slav economics.
bad currency drives out good currency. when we got off the gold standard we established that currency. that's just my opinion. now, when other countries still up in currency or valuing or whatever, it hammers us so we hit the same wall of punishment that they are getting but it affects everybody here in our country. they resist the law doesn't respect personality. it's solid. either we conform by an act of our will to have something stable like what's going on now in the government, honesty, okay. honesty can be considered currency of exchange as well. >> host: raymond can you wrap this up and we will get a response. >> caller: yes, and it doesn't
choose sides so to wrap it up, the principle we need to get back, the basics that we would yield to -- ahead. i'm through. >> guest: thank you and the key is having a currency with a stable value like alexander hamilton recognized more than 250 years ago and he fixed it to cool just like the british pound at the time was fixed to gold and that's the critical reason why we have this great -- that we have and we discussed earlier , we have had the gold standard for 180 years and it worked. we have the greatest wealth of any nation in history. a lot of other factors at work that we got the money right and since we have been off the gold standard are average goes -- growth. has been far lower than we were on it, average over time and our economy today we have the same
growth we had when we were on gold we would be $8 trillion bigger, our economy today. over 40 years compounding because investing is risky. you don't know what you were going to get. back in it you get less reductive investing in when you have a fixed value for the dollar guess what happens? do you have less currency trading. he didn't need it. when you go from texas to oklahoma you have to worry about what the dollar is worth an oklahoma versus texas. the same currency. today having all these floating currencies, currency trading on a daily basis is $5.3 trillion, more than stocks and bonds put together. tens of thousands of the best minds in the world focus on trying to make money trading currencies. a huge waste of resources, a huge waste of brainpower. that's why we have got to get
back to the gold standard and also you hit the word trust. trust is what makes a currency work and when you lose trust then at least all sorts of social problems. just as you have 12 inches and a footer 60 minutes an hour you should have a stable currency. it would make life a lot better than what we have been going through. >> host: here's a text message from northern virginia. was issued by them bitcoin? >> guest: bitcoin, bitcoin rosette be my call it a high-tech cry for help. these and other crypto currencies rose up because of the lack of faith in the dollar and a sense of wanting privacy. the challenge with that point as i see it is it's still unstable and value. let's say you got. in bitcoins. one week you could buy probably kobe beef or stakes in the next week you would probably get a second. hamburger because is so volatile
though they have to find a way to stabilize it. what is coming out of these crypto currencies like that point is a new payment system. we don't realize how expensive and complicated our whole banking finance payment system is today. we think when we go to the store we should swipe our card. isn't that magic? yeah it is what asked the merchant why do i have to pay 36 % for that card swiped? would that coin is showing is you can do this for a fraction of this payment system of what we have today. that's good news for some of the credit cards, not good news for american express in terms of electronic banks wanted the countries that leads the world in electronic tanking because they have to, they have no choice is kenya. they can have a traditional system and so here technology may come to the rescue not only the cost of transactions but for developing countries.
just a handheld devices in terms of telephones you have to have all these telephone poles and the traditional infrastructure. you could get all around that with these handheld telephones and handheld devices. so2 on banking you may may not have to have all the infrastructure we have today. you have already seen on line lenders beginning to emerge who can do it at a fraction of the cost and far more efficiently than the traditional system so if you are in banking is not government regulation that is killing you but what it may do to you what it did to the history. >> host: in your book "freedom manifesto" we are taught in grade school that thomas edison invented the incandescent bulb because he wanted to create better lighting. true or false? >> guest: he always wanted to do things better but what this goes to show is that human emotions are there and the key
thing is to channel them in a productive direction. thomas edison was -- gas was the chief source of elimination elimination and he being a notch he being in on japan or he was always falling behind on his bills. we have a note, my grandfather in 1920, a note about this legend about why the incandescent lightbulb was true. edison wrote back to my father and he said yes, that's true. i was paying the share of five days -- $5 a day to postpone a judge my factory and then came the gasman. he cut off my gas. that may be so mad i read asked techniques to see if electricity could be made to replace gas. i stuck to it but i didn't hurt them at all. his anger at the gasman and
edison invented the incandescent lightbulb to replace traditional gas. >> host: joe was in carmel, indiana. hi joe. >> caller: high-speed that to hear your critique on the fair tax and whether you think donald trump would be opposed to the fair tax because it would hit the big real estate projects so hard. >> guest: in terms of the fair tax as a national sales tax. we discussed it in the book, several pages. the effective. is not -- we explained while the real. is 20% so if you go to a store and buy something for $100 you are going to pay $30 sales tax on it and it's meant to replace the income tax and the payroll tax primarily but the challenge would be with this national sales tax is semifold. one is just political. when you say of 30%. people just recoil.
you can talk about that are prices all you want and just think oh my god when i buy a new house i will have to pay a 30% tax. yes, you will and so that's a challenge. another challenge which is also very important is the 16th amendment to the constitution. the 16th amendment allows washington to impose an income tax. if you don't repeal the 16th amendment to the constitution i guarantee you, you will eventually have as you have with most countries in most states both an income tax and a sales tax like in europe. they have high income taxes and they have what they call a value-added tax which is sort of a sales tax. so we have to repeal the 16th amendment and then you have the challenge of compliance. it's one thing to put a tax on a product but what about services? when you get high rates and people have a huge incentive to get around that.
the kid comes in kutcher von coming you are going to pay a 30% tax on that? i don't think so. we have talked about the fair tax, they will put the 30% tax on a new house but not on an existing house. then you get into problems of defining what is new and what is a traditional house. let's say you pick a traditional housing but that the thing and keep the façade maybe and redo the whole thing. does the 30% sales tax apply without? you will have to deal with these particular questions and then who collects the tax? the sales tax people say they want the state to collective but they are only going to bathe the states one quarter 1% to collect the thing. not much of an incentive. a stable make sure they get their tax. they don't care about uncle sam so you take the 30%. and combine it with some states like california and get eight to 10%. ..
you have thorny compliance problems and you can probably get around those but i want it done now. the flat tax has been done around the world and i want it done quickly. maybe it can be done within the next generation, but we need it done now. >> so someone wants to go out and buy your book, which of your books would you recommend? >> all of them. you don't have to go to college, you just get these books.
in terms of the political season , the rising america explains in a very straight for forward way, three things that need to be done and we've got to get these issues out there. not just in the election season, but next year at a federal level and a state level. healthcare, 20% of our economy, it's economy, it's the most personal thing possible that affects all of us. clearly it's not working. the whole idea, this this is where the candidates fail, we can turn what looks like a hopeless, complicated mass for the bureaucrats, they play whack a mole and we can turn it into something dynamic and we can all come out ahead. >> in your book money, what kind of society sells lifelong indebtedness to people
inexperienced with money at the beginning of their working lives. you mentioned college. >> we all, now, even two or three years ago, college that was just beginning to emerge as an issue. now it's well over a trillion dollars. one of the things that has happened, all good intention is that cost went up, government came in with subsidize loans and programs and the like and what it end up doing qwest market ended up raising tuitions and so you're on a vicious cycle. you look at the growth of administrative costs of these institutions. that's a telltale sign. the macros up faster than real laboratory research and scholarly research. there's a lot of blow out there. a lot of nice big buildings and swimming pools, very nice but not the essence of learning.
you especially see it in graduate school where you have a mini and no house to show for it right now, because of of these mistakes we've been making with the job market, to to get this all off your back in a few years receives into the environment and then the government has incentives where if working government, you get a faster pay off forgiveness that if you are producing things in the private sector which is bizarre. we want people to produce things so it's bad all round. by the way, it can be done in terms of controlling cost. i think parents are beginning to wake up to this. the president of purdue university, who has huge experience in this town on budgeting, he was a successful executive in the private sector and very successful governor who returned to state in trouble to
aaa credit. no energy, no high-tech, just hard work. the cuts he's been able to put in the systems and able to control expenses for five years, they've had no tuition increases if you look at the phenomenal tuitions of schools now most of them are 60000. purdue is still 48. when he first put in the policy, no more tuition increases, he tells the story, the admissions department said this will hurt us. he said what you mean. if our price is less than others, people will think were in inferiors institution because wire we cheaper. now it's the opposite. they say can we say there won't be any tuition increase because there's a lot of kids who love the idea. he also makes a good point, this again gets to that we have to get pressures from parents and others.
he said you don't go on these institutions and just think you can carve off a lot of fat. a better analogy is that the fat is marbled throughout the animal you have to get people inside to work with you to put incentives inside to cut out these unnecessary costs. over time adds up. the model of purdue. >> mr. forbes, you're the father of $5 per have you figured out how much you spent for college education? >> i don't want to know. but the thing is, parents want to do it but i think now, after that initial response to mitch daniels, parents are now saying more and more, what what are we getting for this money? what are you getting as a student and this leads to
pushing kids to do more economics, more business but you also still want to have a system where they can do the humanities. steve jobs understood humanities and sciences are not polar opposite. each reinforced the other. they are interim mingled like the marbling in the animal. the famous nobel prize created the green revolution which saved hundreds of millions of people from around the world from famine in india and elsewhere. he majored in chemistry or whatever in college and i remember him giving an address to students at graduation 20 years ago and he said to students, don't specialize too early. if you do, make sure you take courses outside your comfort zone because you never know what you might need to draw on in
life. he started to make the breakthrough of the green revolution and he said i need to know about economics which i didn't study very much i need to know about politics and all these things that were outside my immediate sphere. i had to draw on to see it as a way of exercising the mind and one thing purdue does, i think i got this right, they had a core curriculum but it had 363 courses. what they did was put together a package of courses so you take real humanities classes because most the kids who go there are engineers but as the incentive of taking this package, instead of taking a course here that might be easy or trying to go to class on saturday or sunday, if you take that package you get a certificate, not just a diploma
but a certificate that you created this course and humanities. one extra thing that you can add when you go out into the workforce. so college is right for entrepreneurial innovation. >> you are on the line with the author. go ahead. >> hello mr. forbes, how are you i'm interested in the obama health care repeal. that program cost about $70 billion a year and has the highest drug cost in the world. with negotiated drug prices, you get half of what the other program has because they have no negotiation.
i think you should totally repeal the part b prescription. >> host: let's get a response. >> guest: the drug plan, i think that's it, that might be part c but anyway, the challenge there is again, the whole medical healthcare system does not have real free markets. one of the thing that badly needs reform is the whole area of approval of new drugs. the fda largely still has mentality of the 1950s. for example, they love clinical trials. back then, that made sense but for a lot of these new drugs today, for cancer, why should you have to take a placebo when there might be something already there that can help you out with a disease that can kill you. they need to radically reform.
i think if you get the reform they are so you don't have to spend $2 billion to bring a new drug to market which is what you have now, when when you go overseas, for example, those countries, and they buy drugs from our companies here in the they get it at low cost because they don't pay for the research and development, the $2 billion that went into create the drug. if we get reform there, you'll get more drugmakers. right now company that starts out with a promising drug often has to sell out or partner with an existing company to get through the maze of the fda. that ends up costing us. again, i think think that would be right for reform and what george w. bush did on that part, even though the cost came in below estimation was one thing where government didn't underestimate the cost. you're right right that it's all part of the problem and cost a lot of anger among republicans which eventually led to their
defeat in 2006. more free markets, more consumer patient choice and again, it sounds utopia in healthcare, but it will work. we've seen pieces of it where you will get more for less. >> host: gym, anchorage alaska. hi jim jim. >> caller: hello jim, thanks for taking my call. i have a small question concerning healthcare. currently when a person is discharged from the hospital, he or she can receive bills one, two, three or six months to a year later. these come from the labs and the doctors in the hospital and they're hard to read. it looks to me as though with computers, and of all groups that bill knew this that when that patient left the hospital they have one bill they would have their bills there on time. and, the patient would more
easily know if the charges were applicable to a particular operation or whatever. i was just wondering what you see for this type of billing. when you get a car fixed you get one bill. you'll get a bill for the nuts and the bolts and the person who's working someplace else in different costs coming in. i just wonder what your thoughts are on implementing such a procedure. >> guest: you hit on a system where the patient is really not the customer but the third-party government and large insurers, the the insurance companies and the government and employers and when you go to hospital clinic today and you ask what a treatment is going to cost,
because we've grown up with this system, we don't know how strange this is, you get a very strange look. it means either you're uninsured or you're crazy. why would you want to know the price. what is it to you? they tell you insurance will take care of it and then we'll send you if you'll anything. so they want to keep you passive and they want to keep you ignorant. that's the way the system is geared. whereas if you start making these reforms were the patient has that consumer power, they know, you're going to be saying yes or no on whether they get paid, there will be a lot different attitude. even with computers today, you cannot read, unless you're a genius the bills that you get and you try to file for a claim and by golly, you feel absolutely lost and bewildered. no hotel or as you point out with the car repair would dare give you a bill like you get from the hospital. because it's third-party paid
and not to the patient, you end up getting, they say the insurance company takes three months to decide how much of the 500-dollar thing they're going to cover and how much you're going to cover. they have over 20000 different diagnoses, whatever they call them, so you have to talk with your doctor if it's one particular kind of diagnosis insurance won't cover it or though only cover 50% but it is almost like it but cover 85%. it's an insein system. that's why we have to get it simplified and back to to the consumer and then you won't get these crazy situation. you'll know in advance. the hospitals and clinics will tell you. there's a hospital chain called geisinger in pennsylvania and several years ago, legally they can't call them warranties, but in in effect, if they don't do
something right the procedure is on them. if they botched a knee operation, the next one is on them. you think, in a normal market everyone else would quickly have to do that like automobiles. if one says will give you a ten year warranty, the others others follow suit. that hasn't happened in healthcare because it's third-party pay. it's not you the patient. so you get hospital rooms that look like an old boarding house with everyone jammed in. we've grown up with that so we don't realize how unnecessary and crazy it is even though a lot of that equipment is fantastic and a lot of smart people in the system, the system itself is just not working. >> host: gary is coming in from lopez island washington. hello you're on with steve forbes. >> caller: hello it's your friend from freedom fest. we did some stage plays together
>> guest: oh boy. neither of us are in hollywood. >> caller: i wanted to ask about the gold standard. it seems unpractical but some state legislators are advocating golden some school systems are stockpiling gold and overseas, central banks like russia, china and others are favoring gold over paper. is it possible that that kind of creeping, gradual gold standard will start internationally and here in the united states? >> guest: i think getting a gold standard, one reason why we wrote the book is so the people get an understanding of what the thing actually is and not the smith encrusted thing that were told by economists. it's very simple. it's like having a ruler with 12 inches. it doesn't construct the building you want to construct it's just the basis of measurement to do construction efficiently and safely. same with the economy having a stable currency.
what you might call the idea of framework is beginning to be laid per the chinese have been studying this for several years per i wouldn't be surprised over the next decade if they don't mess up their economic reforms are trying to do now. china goes to a gold standard before we do. they're beginning to realize the necessity of a stable currency. so i think yes, it's beginning to happen in the more we get people studying it, what it really is and what it isn't, i, i think you're right, it will happen. the state level, the the states can contribute to it by doing what utah and others have done in one of the things we can do in this country is remove the barriers against alternative currency. so if you want to establish your own currency you're free to do so. you don't have to worry about the fbi throwing you enjoy l.
that's not counterfeiting, that's just an altnative currency. especially with high high tech, it becomes more more feasible. if we remove all those barriers, taxpayers, regulatory barriers and then something might emerge in the marketplace that we can even conceive of today. >> host: here's a text message from the 717 area code. mr. for what you think of mr. trump's idea of bringing jobs back from china. >> guest: we won't bring jobs back, what, what we will do if we do things right here as we outline here in the book, foreign companies will be investing here on the level we can't even imagine. we got a little flavor of that in the age 80s we started to move ahead of the rest of the world. auto manufacturers came here because it turned out we could make cars here just as good as other places, we have low energy
costs and capital will flow into this country. who knows, in terms of manufacturing what will be done with 3-d printing and other technological advances in terms of making robots. robots have been with us forever and we don't realize that a washing machine is a form of a robot instead of washing with hands, the machines do it. same thing with dishes and the like. now with laser technology, they can be precise in a way and cheap in a way that you can make close that were done in a third world and now maybe it can be done with laser technology that's very, very promisee. i want an environment where everyone wants to come here because we have a good currency, good legal system, good tax system and you want to be here. people, when they look at their uncertain governments there and around the world, even even now
with all our trouble, we are in trouble, but were better off than most of the world which is why they want their kids to go to school here and why they want to have real estate here. they realize this is a safer place than just about anywhere in the world. >> host: that most recent book by steve forbes, reviving america, how repealing obamacare and replacing the tax code and reforming the fed will restore hope and prosperity. we want to play some video. you'll be able to see it right there. you will know what this is about. it's from march of this year. >> i thought steve forbes like me and they put me down of $4.5 billion net worth and i thought and i thought they liked me. they put me down much lower than
what it is. i should be happy and i am happy, what difference does it make but i couldn't understand why are the forbes number so much lower than the value of what i built? >> host: what was that about? spee2 donald trump always thinks we underestimate his wealth and we go through this every year. the essence of it is that putting aside various property, the essence of it is he thinks we should put several billion dollars just on the value of his name. in terms of how we value wealth, we say you monetize it and then we'll count it as value. we do this for everybody. not just donald trump. they may have some value but you monetize it and you show that it's worth something and we count it. that's the big difference. but he is irrepressible. i have to tell you story. i shouldn't, but i will. it's in the magazine. we did a story story on his wealth last fall for the 400
richest list and he disputed as he did there, he thinks it's much more and so we went up to his offices that, the same day the pope was in new york, so trump tower has a balcony and we went out on the balcony and a lot of latinos were down there and so there's some cheers for donald trump but there are some boo as well and he says you see, 90% approval. then he says, you also undermine estimated the of trump tower. the trump pope chose this building to begin his parade. he tries to make the world as he think that should be. :
the neck step to recognize everything he says is examen he died he was examined earlier? c8c nothing at what they will try to do to him. they will put that team together and take it to the next at. >> where does the "forbes" 400 come from? >> my father in the early '80s thought it would be fascinating to see who had said he was losing it or making it and where was coming from. so he told the editors we would do 480 said 400 because of the late 1800's 400 of the most powerful people is of a like a good number so he went with it. they fought him to the nail they said isn't a publicly traded company that you can add up what shares are worth and what companies capital is. how can we do this? it can be done.
so finally my father said if you are going to do it i will do it myself. so finally they got together to put the team together and started to do it he made clear these are estimates. in some klay cases to get cooperation and in some that you don't you talk to bankers and competitors to get a good idea of the range and my father's hunch was right. the volatility each year of five 10% change as people move up or go down then they can now than they fall-off in the energy sector those people of taking a huge hit. so it is a church and is quite a bcc the same thing around the world did he think piles of gold. no. here day gone tomorrow is what we found out with the price of oil teeseven to
other people dispute or want to be on the list? >> natalie does he want to me he says we never get it right even though it has bought up to a billion he thought it was for now we have a four 1/2 he thinks it should be a the half for 10 or pick a number. we're always 50 percent behind the way he calculates. but a lot of mothers want to be off of it in a classic case in terms of complaints some were furious and it wasn't so much the investment but he was on the list because he was getting a divorce and didn't want to know -- his wife to know what he had. [laughter] teeseven lewis is so dynamic? >> my wife married almost 45
years. we met 46 years ago at a party sitting next to each other that is how chance plays in a big smart alec offered her a cigar it was the posh club without missing a beat she took it and rolled it up. [laughter] is she said if you want to play that game i can to. [laughter] >> you have five daughters how many are involved with the magazine? >> one. right now she just had a very successful women's conference the other two are scattered around the country one is in seattle one is in dallas we got through the teenager years thanks to
their mother when recommendation for a teenage daughters is the mother and remember in a very different context this too shall pass. [laughter] teeseven fatah states is coming up. >> just the everyday interaction that you never knew what would come out of his mind when he was thinking they're saying things so it was constant you're always wondering what will he come up with the next? look even be conceived of that is the issue like the 400. he was interrupted i love
looking at the of motorcycles their beautiful that i would never ride one but as he got older he rode them more instead of glass. in his late fifties he started to commute to new york on a motorcycle and even worse he started to rise in the city be york city streets and potholes' and generational role reversal they are saying that this is dangerous you can hurt yourself you have to be careful. he did have three serious accidents and one almost killed him. but you could not stop him. one was elizabeth taylor but that kind of gesture he loved that. >> to have played or the ship? >> we don't. the seven was the 727 and with fuel consumption and no.
and the boat, and though. six years ago that became a plane it was good for advertising to get business nobody else had one but it lost the ability to attract business cost-effective no it was beautiful and that is like cheating with the times >> the next call for steve forbes. >> caller: good afternoon to the c-span audience and also mr. "forbes". i have better reader of your magazine the last 50 years holon and often it has given me a wonderful idea is. going on to social security, i am a little upset because if i talk to
99 to add of 100 people everybody thinks it will not be there is going bankrupt in there so misinformed by hate to say it, by a our media so the question is this comedy remember in the year the '80s when greenspan and tip o'neill and ronald reagan in one day or two social security had a $50 billion surplus? it was close but not bankrupt. today that surplus is close at $3 trillion you start off in the program your data grandfather said money should bring happiness not pile up. des you think it would be a wonderful thing for our area economy that the people who help to get the surplus believe the baby boomers now get additional benefits
before someone comes in to take it and literally steals it? >> very interesting question the sad news is the money has already been stolen and spent. that $3 trillion surplus in the so-called trust fund is in name only. the leading that trust fund has our i.o.u., non marketable to the u.s. treasury department the social security payroll tax money comes it is immediately spent then they give the aisle you to the social security administration remember five years ago we always had a default on the government bonds? in the people fear they would not get their check? if you had a $3 trillion surplus in securities that would pay the benefits for
or five or six years. but the money wasn't there it had already been spent now for a private company if they did that and took money from their workers and spent it and gave the nod marketable i.o.u. those executives would go to jail for but in washington that is considered high finance so naturally and does not exist one thing i hope the next president will do is take these non marketable i owe you to substitute unassailable government-bond out of the federal reserve is complicated but i think it can be done so if we do have a crisis again you don't have to worry about people not getting their social security check also that is supposed to be reserved like a pension or 401k to pay future benefits it is unjust for those on the system today that to make sure the reserves are
there when revenues start to fall as the baby boomer generation retires so those are supposed to be reserves like pension funds and 401k. in terms of social security the key thing is we do have enough wealth in the economy to pay the current promised benefits for those who are on the system or the next 1520 years that the problem comes with younger people in their twenties or thirties the system will not be there for them because it is pay-as-you-go there is no real reserve. so for younger people they should put part of the payroll tax goes to their own personal account there plenty rules and regulations about diversity and you can spend it but it is their property because right now
those benefits each year you get a notice from social security saying what you will get under certain assumptions you think it is there but it isn't. the courts have ruled this you don't own that many at all either you contributed to make it sound like it is yours so especially for the younger people thinking they all those assets politicians cannot play games with it like they do now they say there is a $3 trillion surplus when it doesn't exist. we shouldn't do that to future generations but today if we get a normal growth rates than normal productivity, and this system for us and the next coming generation is there to pay the promised benefits if we continue to make idiotic mistakes like we have done in recent years
that is why i think we need to get these reforms is so we have the resources there to make promises for the next-generation. but for the new generation these teenagers their money is invested in the bay gore the index fund is invested in that grows the economy. >> here is the e-mail. flat tax is into have the read rich get richer just like reagan reduce the top rates a gift to the millionaires of $300,000 reduction in taxes with each successive $1 billion of you are looking at things through the eyes of the wealthy. >> i look at the highest
through someone like most americans who want to see the economy growing again so people who start with police have a chance to get more as we can put it and right now with a stagnant economy who was hurt the most? it comes are not rising for low-income we don't have the mobility we had in the past which is part of the political frustration today. so the flat tax that has worked around the world enables the economy to focus resources in brainpower, the seattle -- idiotic tax code so in terms of growing it comes we always talk about reagan that kennedy reduced rates across the board by 23 percent including the tops you can accuse him of favoring the rich but to the
booming 60's and reagan had the booming '80s we created millions of new jobs including the more high paid jobs instead of part-time jobs not getting nearly thank you are worth. so with the dynamism of a growing economy and for tax lawyers and irs agents i would support job retraining and do something useful vote for over. [laughter] >> this is a treat from palm desert california. who is the smartest person in you note id or out of government and what is the best run city and state?
>> in terms of smart people there is a lot of smart people but the key is it isn't enough to have smarts but judgment and a willingness to learn a lot of people cannot seem to translate into doing something big so yes there is a lot of brainpower but the conclusions for some vicious when i disagree with it is the nature of life. and by the way people can also focus on a particular area and do very well as if somebody would say of the iq that is not the key thing in the early days like google in terms of computer programming that takes
brainpower but they don't care if you are really good at it. they don't care if you finish high school or college if you could do the job they want you. and some of these are ted thousand dollars a month. a $100,000 signing bonus stock options. so its not the degree but how you apply what you have so i think we will see more and more with this economy. in terms of the dynamism of the economy again you have the entreprenuers coming in the most unlikely areas or henry ford who ran a corner garage restore those of the story sevenfold.
>> to take the city state question any state that comes to mind that you would meyer greatly today? >> i've mentioned mitch daniels from indiana who is demonstrating in indiana not just one big thing but you can do what government should do a duet more efficiently with these taxes entered a state dash of the basket case into some of the best three teams of the country and on the opposite side you take the word greece and translated to a english that you will get a little way. the worst rated state in the country in chicago is about to go broke the state had a great governor but the legislature is still in allah landry don't have to worry about revenues. so is the disaster.
so which kills his example of what could be done with good leadership and illinois and what happens with a series of bad decisions made and it comes to bite and then people don't seem to like to be more but scott walker in wisconsin that is really starting to kicking and he took a lot of grief for adults know why that campaign was so disastrous but butted wisconsin he did real things they have always been a laboratory during the progressive era with welfare reform even the basis of clinton welfare reform and the babies but from what walker has done that is what it is supposed to be about if it works then do we get a nationally.
>> just a few minutes left. >> caller: ivan first-time caller. i am 50 but when i was 45 my family has a history of heart disease. i played golf and threw batting practice for guided ted carroll said played softball but then had a heart attack when i was 45. >> i apologize but we're running at a time. could you please get your question. >>.
>> base for calling. >> base for taking my call. i want to ask you about the tax that is implemented with the glading amendment it is a flat tax but no exemptions or deductions so it is revenue neutral with those conditions is half a percent in the tax is everything in its vantage is that it gets to the distortions of the current system of the intermediate sales and side effects by discouraging high a frequency stock trading to make long-term investments more tax efficient what did you think about that tax? to make everything that flows is music to my ears so if you want to send me more detail on that.
we do have to something where the tendency is what every bring in a new tax it stays in the other taxes day in and it is very hard to get them down once they are planted. so let me go of the ideas. that encompasses a lot of things i have to be sure i know what we're getting into. thank you. >> caller: cleveland ohio. >> i would like to ask if he has any opinion about philanthropy. bill gates sale lot about philanthropy i have been listening so far but have not heard mr. "forbes" say anything about philanthropy. does he have an opinion about the way wealthy people
distribute to other people or the group's? >> what do you think? what do you think the view should be? >> my opinion is that warren buffett and bill gates are setting a fine example. >> one of the amazing thing said united states is we are the most philanthropic nation of the world. cash gifts are over $300 billion per year that does not account for the hundreds of millions of dollars of people that contribute volunteer time and that is the most from our very existence and from the most commercial nation people think they are opposite poles but they are not congress is about meeting the needs and wants of other people and philanthropy is the same thing.
there are midi cables you mention in gates and buffet who in the private sector are also very effective with philanthropy what bill gates is doing in terms of fighting malaria and other diseases is very inspiring also with education and i think warren buffett made a good point at his conference each year one of the points buffett likes to make if you were the of entrepreneur and went to get involved in philanthropy don't do the things that have already been done go for something we have a high risk for failure or try to make things happen it may not work for a while to us like new businesses most don't succeed bed go on the frontier and out of your comfort zone to make things happen to be effective philanthropist.
so in terms of reforms, what i point out in the book, the american people have more they give more they don't need to be bought by the tax code even before the income-tax we were a very philanthropic nation and the 1980's a lot of the philanthropy when reagan cut the top rate from 70 percent down to 20% they thought that would hurt charitable giving but he would not build the sale would not be subsidizing all of the many then what happened and it was the opposite people not only gave more but the rate of growth with up as well so people have more they give more and in this country research shows roughly day cash bids to% equivalent gdp so is roughly $350 billion
it it may go up but it is fairly constant the more people have the more they get. >> we try to do this program when it in april what happened? >> we had a plane accidents outside of philadelphia. suddenly the plane came to an abrupt halt fortunately we read the back of the plane so we were jolted we did have some injuries and sadly to workers had a train coming in two workers were
killed. so we stopped. there wasn't the intercom system we did not go out we were going to risk that so half an hour later before first responders cave to say there has been an accident and then 20 minutes later we got down the steps and across the tracks thankfully in this town there was said church that had ted gynoecium that we could go in there and wait to see what was going to happen any the amtrak people had a manifest to see who was
missing because they don't know if these situations so we waited and the buses came we were waiting for a car kennedy would get here in time but they still have not come up with a definitive reason but thankfully it was in the front parlor could have been very serious. >> you came down on the trade today? >> six steve forbes his most recent book reviving america. this is booktv on c-span2.
>> one of the things i am starting with is the constitution and my constituents are reading through the constitution in the declaration so we will have some fun with that on constitution day in the fall this summer going back and looking so the others are at the top of the list i think every once in awhile it's good to get a new perspective how you began its assets and i have always