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Forbes on FOX

Private sector's lesson for presidential candidates

DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING "Cost of Freedom Recap" CONTAINS STRONG OPINIONS WHICH ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE OPINIONS OF FOX NEWS AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS INVESTMENT ADVICE WHEN MAKING PERSONAL INVESTMENT DECISIONS. IT IS FOX NEWS' POLICY THAT CONTRIBUTORS DISCLOSE POSITIONS THEY HOLD IN STOCKS THEY DISCUSS, THOUGH POSITIONS MAY CHANGE. READERS OF "Cost of Freedom Recap" MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN INVESTMENT DECISIONS.

TRUMP, CARSON ACCUSING CRUZ OF USING UNFAIR CAMPAIGN TACTICS

Rich Karlgaard: Well, sure. The number one strategic job of many businesses to figure out their unfair advantage in the marketplace and exploit it for all they can. And like a sports team or an army or any business as you're doing that, you're going to make mistakes, elbows are going to fly and you move on. Look, the market will discipline you. In the case of Ted Cruz, he's going after Christian voters. If they find this out of bounds, they will punish him!

Bruce Japsen: I don't know and you know I'm from Iowa. And I participated in the caucuses and back in the day, a Mondale delegate referred to me as a wine and cheese Democrat and I didn't start drinking wine until I was in my 30’s.

Steve Forbes: Well in terms of what happened in Iowa, not Cruz took on a statement, but Ben Carson made that look like he might withdraw, so I don't want to defend Cruz, but you have that ambiguity there. In terms of business, within the rules you go for what you can. Steve Jobs, for example went to Xerox Park back in the late 1970s in that research lab, saw what became the mouse. He realized its potential. Xerox didn't. He ran with it. If you see an advantage you take it, as long as you don't break the rules of the law and that way, you not only do good for yourself, but you do good for society as a whole. We owe a lot to Steve Jobs.

John Tamny: Well okay maybe it is unfair but let’s face it politics attracts incredibly vain people who lust for the power to allocate the resources created by others, so, of course it's going to be a dirty business. Why are Trump and Carson surprised? They shouldn't be running for president if they didn't expect it to be like this.

Mike Ozanian: It just made me think of the '60s before the AFL and NFL merged and I remember during the draft, you'd have the different leagues hiding players so the other league wouldn't get a chance to talk to them and draft them. I think a lot of this stuff goes on, like John says, more of it goes on in politics. If this did happen, what Cruz should have done was fire those involved.

Sabrina Schaeffer: To some extent Liz, of course. Like everyone has said, the job of a business or a candidate is to get votes or to get customers. But the flip side of that coin is that you have to get new customers and I don't think Bernie Madoff is getting any new customers, right now, right? And I think in the GOP especially. One thing they need to keep in mind is there are simply more Democratic voters out there. They are going to have to persuade some of those soft democrats to come over to their side and if they are viewed as too dirty and if they are viewed as too sort of salacious, then perhaps they're not going to be successful in that effort.

ISIS FIGHTERS ENTERING EUROPE DISGUISED AS SYRIAN REFUGEES

Steve Forbes: Well absolutely, how much more proof do you need? And in terms of trying to get policies in place so we can find out who these people truly are. There's no way to do it. So pause the thing until we get real procedures in place that the FBI will vet, FBI will approve, to let these people in. Why not instead create a safe zone in Syria so they don't have to go to Europe. They don't have to go to Canada or try to sneak into the United States. Let’s get it at the source, but Obama, President Obama refuses to do this, so now, we've got terrorists coming into the United States. Good job, Mr. President.

Bruce Japsen: I don't know about that. I think to pause the program is to halt the program and say no to refugees that are fleeing violence, doesn’t send the right message. I think there's a positive in the sense that Canada is willing to take some of these folks off of Germany’s hands and I think we've been calling for that as well.

Rich Karlgaard: Yeah, of course we are. And Steve cited President Obama’s laxity on this and it's even worse in the case of the new Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, who’s playing for the applause you know, he was a hit at the world economic forum in Davos. He's beloved by U.N. types and Nobel types and you know, I don't know when it became a bad thing to look out for your rational self-interests and in this case, the rational thing to do for the United States is to pause this program.

John Tamny: I don't see where putting the pause on the refugee program is going to somehow fight terrorism. Someone who wants to commit a despicable act is not going to be deterred by a pause. And so if it's terrorists were worried about, why would we put so much money in the state department vetting refugee families. Why not put more money into global intelligence searching for terrorists.

Sabrina Schaeffer: I take John's point, that this is sort of, you know the trickle down. We have to actually get to the source of the problem. That being said, I think that we have a you know, a serious national security issue to consider and it's taken us, I know I’ve said this here before, it's taken the west thousands of years to sort of develop the kind of respect we have for human rights and to codify that and there are plenty of places around the globe that simply don't share our values and I think we need to be careful that when we are letting people in, that they really want to be here because they believe in the American dream and our American way of life and I think that is a fair thing to say in this what we're facing now.

Bill Baldwin: Well that will be a start, but I think there's an even better solution recently suggested by a "Wall Street Journal" editorialist. To this humanitarian crisis, he said why don't we let in the women and children and old people and tell the young men coming from Syria and other war torn places they should go back home and fix the mess they've got back home and then we'll think about it.

WHITE HOUSE ROLLS OUT PLAN TO KICK OUT WEALTHY FAMILIES FROM GOVT-SUBSIDIZED HOUSING

Michael Ozanian: That’s right. Anytime the government gets involved in something it leads to scarcity. Right here in New York City, the government has put in place a lot of so-called affordable housing. Generally terrible places to live, plus it boost up the prices of other nonsubsidized housing. If you're a middle class family in New York, good luck being able to afford a place to live.

Bill Baldwin: No, don’t end government housing, however, fix the warped incentives. The problem is not some occasional millionaire that’s living in a housing project. The problem is somebody’s income is one dollar over some line and then gets thrown out on the sidewalk as a reward for getting a job. That has to be fixed.

John Tamny: Of course. Come on, bill. Government needs to be in housing. It used to be that shoes, computers and cars were scarce. And then the profit motive made them all abundant. Why is housing a different good from the rest?

Sabrina Schaeffer: Yeah, I have a real BMI bonnet about this issue because I find like in New York, here in D.C. and in northern Virginia, this is happening all over the place. And when government gets into the business of housing, it distorts the whole market, it drives up prices and makes hard working families who are trying to maybe buy a bigger house or rent a bigger space, unable to do so. I think we absolutely want sensible economic policies to help people who are in need, but this is not it.

Steve Forbes: Well, again, if you want affordable housing let the free markets work, you can phase this out with vouchers and the like, but stop these creations of these buildings for affordable housing. Get rid of ranked control and other things that distort the market and you would see housing flourish for all what they used to say pocket books, all income levels. Entrepreneurs will do it. In free markets, Liz, scarcities always turn into abundance when free markets are allowed to operate.

Rich Karlgaard: Yeah, but the thing I can’t figure out, Liz, is why do people think they have a god given right to live in New York or San Francisco or places like that? This country used to be a lot more mobile than it is now and there are plenty of wonderful, much cheaper places to live in the heartland of the United States.

SUPER PICKS

Mike Ozanian: ProShares (SH)

Bill Baldwin: H&R Block (HRB)