Steve Forbes, president and CEO of Forbes Inc. and former GOP presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000, was the speaker at Patrick Henry College’s Newsmaker Series Jan. 14.
The question-and-answer style format was led by Dr. Marvin Olasky, professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College and editor-in-chief of WORLD Magazine.
Olasky kicked off the forum by asking Forbes how he handles people who try to befriend him due to his position and what is his favorite type of book to read.
“Take everything at face value, life is too short to always question others’ motives. Have faith in the future and in the real world,” Forbes told the students.
While Forbes reads a lot of non-fiction, he said he really enjoys mystery books.
When asked what he took away from his two runs for president, Forbes said, “For all the junk culture and crazy reality shows out there, there is still a very basic strength in this country. The reaction after 9/11 shows the strength is still there and it is strong enough to overcome what is going on today. Ultimately we will. Also, people have very different views of things, different interests.“
Forbes spent much of his time discussing his two passions – monetary policy and the free market.
He gave the example of George Mitchell, a businessman who has discovered a way to extract natural gas from shale using hydraulic fracking.
“The free market allows for creativity, he is changing lives,” Forbes said of Mitchell’s work.
Forbes’ views on policy and personal anecdotes had a positive impact with many in the crowd of about 75 people.
“I found the discussion very stimulating,” said Barbara Finley, director of human resources at Patrick Henry College.
Ellen Prichard, a student at Patrick Henry College said, “He did an excellent job. It was interesting to hear his perspective on free markets and capitalism, especially with all of his experience with Forbes Magazine and running for president. I learned a lot and he had a good perspective. Very positive.”
Graham Walker, president of Patrick Henry College and professor of government said, “We loved having him. Monetary policy was more interesting to the audience than he admitted. He was good at giving students the big picture. As he started a magazine in college, it is bound to inspire students.”
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