Forbes blasts Obama

Forbes CEO Steve Forbes criticizes Obama’s financial policies at a campus lecture on the eve of election night.

Have you ever found yourself sitting in an uncomfortable airplane seat vying for a bit of elbow room or trapped on an awkward date and trying to get out?

The best solution for these uncomfortable situations is “talking about monetary polices," said Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes Magazine and CEO of Forbes Inc. He presented his speech, “How Capitalism Will Save Us,” in the Grant Auditorium in the College of Law at Syracuse University Monday evening, the eve of Election Day.

His politically charged statements included his prediction of a win for Mitt Romney in the presidential election. Forbes said he was especially concerned about California's Proposition 30, a bill that would increase sales and income tax for the benefit of state schools. He said it was "ridiculous for government to utilize tax to pay for the huge pension funds in the public sector­." The provision passed Tuesday night.

Forbes is also a politician. In both the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections, he campaigned for the republican nomination.

At times during his presentation, Forbes joked that economics is a less than exciting topic. But it was clear Forbes is passionate about his stance on financial polices. The only way to save America from the current financial quagmire, Forbes said, is reviving capitalism. “Big government always portrays itself as champions of the underdogs, helping the poor, making sure we get educated,” he said. “Free market, by contrast, is always portrayed as based on greed, immoral, cold, heartless, pressuring the poor and the like. That’s simply not true. But the popular culture keeps reinforcing those stereotypes.”

Forbes said big government is all about “meeting its own needs,” while capitalism is about “meeting the needs of other people.” He used the example of the Chicago teachers strike, which, according to Forbes, is essentially about increasing teachers’ own salaries and benefits but not about improving the troubled education system.

Forbes blasted Obama’s act of saving General Motors from bankruptcy, claiming the government intervention of GM, contrary to saving jobs, has cost the jobs of millions of auto dealers. Mitt Romney also made a similar statement in his 2012 presidential campaign.

Forbes argued that capitalism and free market, imperfect as they might be, can bring out the good side of human nature. "It also brings more responsibilities rather than dependence in a free society,” he said. “Right now, in terms of this economy, we are burning. Europe is burning, Asia is burning. If we don’t get it right in this country, we are going to be in trouble in the next few years.”

Junior mechanical engingeering major and chairman of the College Republicans at SU James Ward said they invited Forbes because of his highly accredited media and economy experience. “He has a lot of information to give for young students in college,” said Ward.

Advertising and international relations major Allyssa Kaisar agreed. “This experience will definitely provide a difference perspective for a lot of students in college as you are forming your political opinions," she said. “I think it’s great to see both sides. I think it kind of enhances your experience of watching the election.”

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