What I Asked Steve Forbes Today

Postcards from the florida republic: An independent and profitable state of mind.

This morning, I directed a panel of global economists and political activists whose passions are economic freedom and human progress. The panel consisted of Steve Forbes, Austrian economist Dr. Barbara Kolm, and Preity Üpala, a former investment banker turned Hollywood actress and entrepreneur.

At the panel's start, my first question was directed to Forbes. I noted – as I’ve done here - that the United States has dropped like a stone on the Heritage Economic Freedom Index from 8th to 25th over the last 15 years.

“Steve,” I asked, “what happened, and how do we right this ship?”

His answer might surprise you…

Forbes Pulled No Punches

The publishing honcho came out swinging: “It’s the government,” he said. He quickly began discussing the current regulatory environment that tells businesses what to do and how to do it.

The term should sound familiar: dirigisme.

But when I asked Forbes – where in the world one might find hope regarding economic policy, investment opportunities, and general optimism…

…He pointed down at the ground.

“Right here in the United States.” As Steve explained, certain states are doing it right. He cited Texas – which continues to produce vast amounts of oil and natural gas. It’s an engine of growth across the country.

He obviously mentioned Florida, which continues to hack away at overregulation. That’s been my argument as an entrepreneur. People are moving to Florida, voting with their feet because they want to leave places like California and New York that continue to punish businesses and intrude on people’s lives.

Steve talked about New York’s desire to eliminate gas stoves and coal-fired pizza kitchens over emissions. He pointed out how people like John Kerry fly around in private jets – spewing massive emissions – only to lecture everyone else on how to behave. Again, you’ve likely heard me discuss this…

It was a great chat with Steve. I’ll be interviewing him again today. We hope to have him on the Florida Republic podcast when we launch it later this summer.

You’d better believe I’ll send a link to the panel when his team sends it over to us.

Overall, the panel offered a great breakdown of the global trends that will impact the financial markets and our lives over the next decade.

Deglobalization, de-dollarization, dirigisme, decarbonization, and digitalization. We’ll keep our focus there all summer.

Hey, Look… It’s Another Hypocrite

This week, European environmental and energy ministers gathered in Valladolid, Spain. The subject: bicycle policy.

They want fewer cars on the road, and more people on bicycles. So, it was rather encouraging to see them “lead by example.”

Spain’s Ecological Transition Minister, Teresa Ribera, a member of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, hosted the event. She arrived at the conference riding a bicycle. The media was lined up to film her bike pull up to the building.

What a leader… right?

It turns out that she had gotten on the bicycle about 100 yards down the road, out of view of the cameras. Before getting there, she drove, or should I say, was driven from the airport in a limousine. She denied taking a plane 120 miles to the event. But a military jet traveled from Madrid that morning, according to a site that tracks government air traffic – and the passenger list wasn’t provided. Convenient. These people are just flat-out terrible.

Stay alert,


A person sitting in a chair with a book Description automatically generatedGarrett Baldwin

Florida Republic Capital

(Available on Substack)

About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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