Friday, September 22, 2017

Steve Forbes Rocks U of L

This is out of sequence -- it happened a week ago --but worth mentioning nonetheless.  Publisher Steve Forbes spoke to several hundred University of Louisville students at the Schnatter Center for Free Enterprise, in the U of L College of Business (jointly sponsored by the Young Americas Foundation).

Given the lunacy that we have seen on college campuses like Berkeley and Middlebury, it was striking to see how polite the U of L students were to Forbes -- an unabashed defender or capitalism.

This is the second time in a matter of months that the Schnatter Center hosted a prominent conservative to a large and respectful crowd.  (And as noted below, the McConnell Center hosted Justice Neil Gorsuch to standing ovations yesterday).

Not surprisingly, Forbes spoke out in favor of  a flat tax.  He's been relentless on the topic over the years, correctly so.

One new thought (or at least new to me):  Forbes challenged the concept of "giving back."  As in the virtue signaling demand that we must turn over our money to the less fortunate, either voluntarily or through the coercion of the tax system.

The problem with "giving back," Forbes observed, is that it assumes that our earnings were not ours to begin with and therefore must be returned, at least in part. That's a fallacy. It also diminishes the act of charity by grounding it in guilt.

Forbes gave some advice to the students that also struck me:  sometimes it is best not to wait until you are ready. He gave the example of Chris Christie, who was urged to run for president in 2012 but declined because he was not ready; when he was ready in 2012, his time had passed and he lost badly.  Barack Obama, in contrast, ran for president while still brand new in the Senate. Many said that he was not ready, but he disregarded the advice and pressed on.

Forbes would have made a really good president. He is still consequential, however, sharing his wisdom with college students who are more interested in hearing and analyzing than protesting.

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