LAS VEGAS, NV —
Hi, Paul Dykewicz here, reporting from Las Vegas for Mark Skousen’s 10th annual Freedom Fest conference.
Officially, more than 2,100 people have registered…
Which, unofficially, if my numbers hold, may eclipse the record broken two years ago, when then-republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke before a raucous crowd.
The Big Event here on the first day of Freedom Fest showcased media mogul Steve Forbes in a debate with former Quantum Fund co-founder Jim Rogers.
Out of the gate, Rogers criticized D.C. lawmakers sputtering in their efforts to reform health care and tax policies, as well as reduce government debt.
The consequences of such ineffectiveness could be painful for investors, according to Forbes, who went on to offer specific health care legislative advice, including…
A plan that would effectively remove government mandates forcing everyone to buy health care coverage or otherwise pay a tax.
He later cautioned that countries “sinking more deeply into debt” such as the U.S. and others are setting up the global economy for a worse-than-usual downturn in the next two or three years.
However, as Forbes countered, there IS a way forward.
But it would require the U.S. government to get it together enough to: adopt tax reform, introduce sound money policies and create health care legislation aimed at “fixing” the badly flawed “ObamaCare.”
Forbes went on to say Democrats have caught Republicans unprepared to respond to the media “narrative” – claiming millions of people would lose coverage if ObamaCare is replaced…
…And switched focus away from the real question: Does America really have a health care crisis when other industries (experiencing the same rising demand) would view such a situation as positive?
Rising demand usually provides opportunities for “entrepreneurs and innovators,” he concluded.
The bottom line, according to Forbes, is that advocates of a single-payer health care system would take a model that has failed the U.S. Veterans Administration and force it upon all Americans.
To really fix the U.S. health care system, he recommended not only ending the mandate that every employer buy insurance…
…But also allowing nationwide shopping for health insurance, requiring equal tax treatment for all and forcing every hospital and clinic to post prices for services.
Later that afternoon, Rogers followed up on Forbes’ point… He warned that the U.S. economy’s historic pattern of enduring a downturn every four to eight years indicates people should prepare for such a prospect to occur in the next 2-3 years.
Worse, because today’s debt load is larger than in 2008, we could be in an even more severe problem the next time the economy falters.
“If you’re not worried, you are not knowledgeable,” Rogers said.
As dour as Rogers and Forbes were, there was more to Day 1 of Freedom Fest than just boom and bust.
We saw this in the political commentary from Larry Elder, a radio host with Salem Media Network.
Elder said the 2016 election mainly boiled down to a referendum on the economy. Ultimately, President Obama’s failed promise to bridge the economic gap between black people and white people has resulted in America enduring the weakest economic recovery since 1949.
Michael Medved, another Salem Media radio host, said the election was by all counts a massive rejection of big government and tax increases.
Then we heard from Joel Stern, a finance professor who’s taught at universities across the globe, who predicted that adoption of a 20% tax rate in America would boost economic growth to 4% GDP.
I also managed to catch investigative journalist James O’Keefe, of the Project Veritas group.
Now, if you recall, it was O’Keefe who recently obtained video footage of CNN employees who reportedly stated that pre-election ties between President Trump and Russians had not shown any evidence of illegalities.
O’Keefe added his three reasons why the mainstream media seems reluctant to pursue the investigative journalism of the past: greed to maximize profits… laziness… and cost.
Okay, now I’ve given you the scuttlebutt from Day 1.
Tomorrow, I’ll share notes from our keynote speaker, William Shatner.
Captain Kirk, if memory serves, negotiated a multi-million-dollar equity deal with online giant Priceline.com, so he knows a thing or two about free markets and investing.
And I can’t wait to hear his stories.
And frankly, I can’t wait to hear what Louis Navellier and Gary Alexander have to say when they present, “Did the Government Really Cause the 2008 Crash?”
We’ll also hear from John McAfee, CEO, MGT Capital Investments, presenting on “Cybersecurity and the Future of Freedom.”
Up later, Mark Skousen, Steve Forbes again, and William Baldwin get together for an investigative session called, “100 Years of Forbes, What Have We Learned?”
Truthfully, there’s more happening here at Freedom Fest than one man cover. If I could be in a couple places at once, here’s what I’d pop in for:
Wayne Gorsek on “Why the Top Selling Drug Company and Store Brand Vitamins Are a Waste of Money and May Cause Alzheimer’s, Heart Attacks and Cancer.”
The MOCK TRIAL: Police on Trial, with Lisa Kennedy.
Why I Can’t Enter the United States (and at this point, do I even want to?) with Conrad Black with Jennifer Grossman (via Skype)
And much more, I assure you. Alas your intrepid reporter is running on fumes.
One last thing, before I forget…
Tomorrow also features the one session, in particular, I’m eager to cover:
It’s called, “Trump’s Washington: Off-the-Record Insider Revelations” and features Stephen Moore, an esteemed economist and personal friend of Freedom Fest-Founder Mark Skousen, along with Andy Puzder.
In a frank discussion moderated by John Fund, Stephen and Andy will pull back the curtain from Trump’s White House – sharing information and insights about this administration and how things really run at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
I know I’ll get there early. That way I won’t miss bringing you a word of what’s sure to be a riveting discussion.
Meantime, look for tomorrow’s recap and highlights from Day 2 at Freedom Fest.