Nashville, TN - The free market system is moral because those who operate businesses within it “succeed by meeting the needs of other people,” Steve Forbes told Christian media and ministry leaders February 24 at the National Religious Broadcasters’ International Christian Media Convention.
Speaking at the Media Leadership Dinner, Forbes said popular culture too often portrays commerce and philanthropy as “polar opposites.” Business is depicted as amoral or immoral, he said.
Instead, commerce and philanthropy are “two sides of the same coin, meeting the needs and wants of other people,” said Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media.
“That’s why the United States, the most commercial nation ever invented, is also the most philanthropic nation ever invented,” he told the gathering of top leaders from NRB's member organizations at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN. “It’s not a paradox.”
Forbes’ 1996 and 2000 candidacies for the Republican Party presidential nomination focused on economic issues.
In his keynote speech for the dinner, Forbes said free markets “are not some abstraction. They’re people” who make exchanges.
He also said free markets:
“Markets can only work when there is trust,” Forbes said, adding markets “depend on a strong sense of right and wrong.”
He acknowledged free markets “are not perfect, because human beings are not perfect.”
Forbes pointed to two monotheistic religions — not natural resources or a large population — for the rise of Western Civilization. Judaism and Christianity “encouraged inquiry,” he told the audience. “They encouraged getting new knowledge.”
The tax code is one of the problems with the American economy, Forbes said. Putting it in perspective, he said the Gettysburg Address is 272 words long, the Declaration of Independence 1,300 words, the U.S. Constitution and amendments 7,200 words, the Bible 773,000 words, and the federal income tax code with its rules and regulations nine million words.
The tax code is “beyond redemption,” he said, adding the only solution is to “drive a stake through its heart, bury it and hope it never rises again.”
Also at the dinner, Frank Gaffney, President of the Center for Security Policy, gave an assessment of America’s security in the face of the threat of Islamic terrorism.
Militant Islam that promotes jihad is a global problem, said Gaffney, who served in the Department of Defense for President Ronald Reagan. “If anything, what I think of as communism with a god is much more dangerous than communism without a god.”
Americans are “not being told the truth about this by our leaders,” but they seem to be awakening to understand “their children and their children’s children are being put at risk,” he said.
Eric Metaxas, popular author and co-host of BreakPoint, interviewed Gaffney.
The sponsors of the dinner were Salem Media Group, a leading radio, Internet and publishing company; Trinet, a web strategy and Internet consulting firm; and Heart to Heart, which provides support for Israel’s blood supply and ambulance service.
By Tom Strode
Published: February 26, 2015